By Peter Matthews
This publication is a concise ancient survey of structural linguistics, charting its improvement from the 1870s to the current day. Peter Matthews examines the beginnings of structuralism and analyzes the important position performed in it through the research of sound structures and the issues of the way platforms swap. He discusses theories of the general constitution of a language, the "Chomskyan revolution" within the Fifties, and the structuralist theories of which means. The ebook comprises exposition, particularly, of the contributions of Saussure, Bloomfield and Chomsky.
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Additional info for A Short History of Structural Linguistics
Long after its phonetic content has changed’. d. ). These remarks were developed further in an article published four years later. Sapir begins by comparing two sounds: one, not a speech-sound, which would be made by someone blowing out a candle; the other a sound objectively similar, made by many speakers of English (though fewer now than when he was writing) in words such as when or wheel. The ‘most essential point of difference’, he says, lies in the relation of wh to other speech sounds. It is ‘one of a definitely limited number of sounds’ which ‘belong together in a definite system of symbolically utilizable counters’.
From this beginning, Sapir leaps to a conclusion that is potentially far more radical. Within such a system, as can be seen already, each sound is ‘unconsciously felt as “placed” with reference to other sounds’; if it were not so, it would be ‘no more a true element of speech’ than, for example, ‘a lifting of the foot is a dance step’ if it cannot ‘be “placed” with reference to other movements that help to define the dance’. But in a footnote to the first use of ‘placed’ Sapir explains that this ‘has, of course, nothing to do here with “place of articulation” ’.
Der Phonologe hat am Laut nur dasjenige ins Auge zu fassen, was eine bestimmte Funktion im Sprachgebilde erfüllt’ (Trubetzkoy, 1939: 14). The basic unit of this discipline is then, as for Baudouin, the ‘phoneme’. But for its new definition it will help if we look back to Sweet.