Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De Essay

Pages: 2 (687 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Communication - Language

Saussure on Language:

Ferdinand de Saussure, who is widely considered as the most significant linguistic theorist of the 20th Century, mainly concentrated on the foundational system that permits daily speech practices. As compared to other linguists, Saussure is credited for transforming the study of language because of his focus was beyond surface utterances. In his work, Saussure differentiated language system and speech practices usually known as langue and parole respectively. According to him, utterances basically function as carriers of ideas or names when a complete language system is disguised in each speech ("Structuralism & Poststructuralism" par, 2). In fact, Saussure uses to illustrations to prove this point with the first being the example of a leaf exposes the whole invisible structure when transversally cut. Secondly, he compares language to a game of chess where every move is governed by the regulations of the game.

One of the major reasons why Saussure is considered as one of the most important linguistic theorist is because of his creative argument that language are symbols that consist of:

Obvious Sound Image (Signifier):

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The fundamental linguistic unit consist of two parts which are sound image and concept with sound image referring to the mental imprint of the sound (or the thoughts it creates) rather than the physical sound itself. For example, when an individual is talking to him/herself, he/she does not necessarily make a physical sound but rather possesses an impression of what he/she is saying (Klages par, 10). While every signifier or the obvious sound image has value, different languages allocate different values to signifiers with the value being determined by the relation between various signifiers. Consequently, each signifier operates within the language system and the set of relations between diversely linked terms for it to be of value. The value of a signifier is its ability to function as the indicator of a certain thing or grammatical operation.

Mental Concept (Signified):

TOPIC: Essay on Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De Saussure, Who Assignment

In explaining the mental concept of language, Saussure uses the example of a tree where the sound image of a tree routinely invoke the concept… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De" Essay in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De.  (2010, August 19).  Retrieved October 17, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De."  19 August 2010.  Web.  17 October 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Saussure on Language: Ferdinand De."  August 19, 2010.  Accessed October 17, 2021.