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Week 3 - Saussure & Austin Textbook Notes

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English 2200F/G
Matthew Rowlinson

Week 3Course in General LinguisticsFerdinand de SaussureSaussure draws a distinction between language langue and the activity of speaking parole Speaking is an activity of the individual language is the social manifestation of speech Language is a system of signs that evolves from the activity of speechLanguage is a link between thought and sound and is a means for thought to be expressed as sound Thoughts have to become ordered and sounds have to be articulated for language to occur Saussure says that language is really a borderland between thought and sound where thought and sound combine to provide communicationSpoken language includes the communication of concepts by means of soundimages from the speaker to the listener Language is a product of the speakers communication of signs to the listener Saussure says that a linguistic sign is a combination of a concept and a soundimage The concept is what is signified and the soundimage is the signifier The combination of the signifier and the signified is arbitrary ie any soundimage can conceivably be used to signify a particular concept Lets say for example we are using an apple The SIGNIFIER would be the word apple the letters that make up the word etc the SIGNIFIED would be what the word represents This would be the red fruit The SIGN is what you get what you combine the signifier and signified For the example it would be the word apple and the representation of the red fruit that is crea
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