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The Place of G. F. Stout's "Thought and Language" (1891) in the History of English Semantics

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This article is intended to fill a gap in the history of semantics and the history of the psychology of language in England at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. The work of the psychologist and philosopher George Frederick Stout (1860-1944) is analysed, focusing on an article on 'thought and language', published in 1891. In this article Stout proposes a new theory and typology of signs — his contribution to semiotics. He also puts forward a new definition of language as a system of signs and an instrument of communication. Finally, he develops a new conception of word meaning, sentence meaning and meaning in discourse, based on the notion of 'apperception'. He compares his concept of meaning and meaning change with that of Hermann Paul and uses it to criticize the latters definitions of usual and occasional meaning.
Dans cet article l'auteur essaie de combler une lacune dans l'histoire de la sémantique et de la psychologie du langage en Angleterre à la fin du XIXe et au début du XXe siècle. L'oeuvre du psychologue et philosophe George Frederick Stout (1860-1944) est analysée en prenant comme point de départ un article de 1891 sur 'le langage et la pensée'. Dans cet article Stout avance une nouvelle théorie et une nouvelle typologie des signes — une contribution à la sémiotique. Il nous donne également une nouvelle définition du langage comme système de signes et instrument de communication. Enfin, il présente une nouvelle conception du sens au niveau du mot, de la phrase et du discours, fondée sur la notion d'apperception. Il compare sa conception du sens et du changement de sens avec celle de Hermann Paul et il discute la valeur des termes 'signification usuelle' et 'signification occasionnelle' introduits par ce dernier.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 1991

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