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Theorie Et Histoire De La Linguistique

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The history of linguistics is presented as a crucial part of linguistics as a whole, in view of its contribution to the understanding of the logical and cognitive structure and evolution of the linguistic discipline itself. The basis for this view is to be found in Saussure's distinction between the 'matter' and 'object' of linguistic science: what changes through time is not merely the object of study, namely, the complex system we call 'language', but also its matter, since the evidence we put forward is not simply given per se, but is selected by the investigator in accordance with certain determinants both internal and external to the discipline. Furthermore, this change affects the way in which evidence and theory are linked, i.e., the cognitive procedures leading from the former to the latter, which in turn are influenced by internal and external factors. This thesis is illustrated in a discussion of three crucial chapters in the history of linguistic thinking: Renaissance philosophy of language, Port-Royal linguistic theory, and Saussure.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1975

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  • International Journal for the History of the Language Sciences
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