Key Terms in Saussure








totality of language


/          \


            Language                           Speech


            (la langue)                          (la parole)


            sign system                         speaking





la langue                                   la parole


--  Passive                              --  Active


--  Essential                           --  Accidental


--  Homogeneous                   --  Heterogeneous


--  Social Product                   --  Individual  Execution

           (Static)                       --  (Non-Transformative)

           [synchronically]                [synchronically]



Social Sciences                         Natural Sciences


Geisteswissenschaft                 Naturwissenschaft



       General Psychology


              Social Psychology





                             /      \   

              Synchronic          Diachronic





/      \

                                                  Signified                 Signifer

                                                  (signifie)                (signifiant)


                                                  Sound Image           Concept


Linguistics as Objective Science

Focuses on la langue

/          \

                                          Synchronic                        Diachronic


                                          --  Point                              --  Successive Points


                                          --  (Frozen Moment)          -- (Temporal Span)


                                          --  Immutable                     --  Mutable


                                          --  Static                             -- Evolutionary



la langue as a System of Signs


       Grammar +

Vocabulary +

Pronunciation System



Diacritical Theory of Meaning


       Finite Lexicon at each Synchrony


       Words in each Synchrony Stand in Opposition


       Meaning of Word in Not In-Itself

              Meaning is in the Oppositions Among Signs

              Meaning is in Difference


       Aribrary Nature of the Sign

       -- Individual Cannot Change Sign  in Synchrony

       -- Signs and Oppositions Vary Diachronically