Today, we have closer look at “Ferdinand de Saussure” who is the forefather of linguistics and semiotics. He is a Swiss linguist who was born in 1857 in Geneva. His ideas set a base for much significant progress in both linguistics and semiology in the 20th century therefore, he is known for his contributions in this field.
Saussure had signs of significant talent and intellectual ability as early as the age of fourteen. At this age, he learnt many languages like Latin, Ancient Greek and Sanskrit. After that at 21, Saussure published a book entitled “Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européennes” (Thesis on the Primitive Vowel System in Indo-European Languages) as it explained the alterations in an Indo-European vowel.
Saussure was also known for the lectures he gave as a teacher, on the basis of notes taken from Saussure's lectures in Geneva by his colleagues they used them later in (Course in General Linguistics) which is a text that became integral to 20th-century structural linguistics.
Moreover, he thought that language was a socially-structured system that one could view both synchronically and diachronically (as it exists at a particular time and as it changes over time). He also presented two words in linguistics which are now widely used in the study: parole and langue. Parole refers to the speech of an individual person. Langue is a system that inspires all speech activity.
Therefore, many refer to Saussure’s theories as to the starting point for structural linguistics.
To know more about this great character read this Subject: Historical Linguistics, History of Linguistics, Linguistic Theories Online Publication Date: Jun 2017 DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199384655.013.385.
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