موضوع: Modern Linguistic Tendencies 2011-11-17, 15:11
Modern Linguistic Tendencies
“ European Structuralism “ headed by Saussure asserts that the ideas concerning the consideration of language as a system of signs where all is held in mutual relationship – therefore, the value of each element depends on its relationship with the other elements of the system – developed in different directions in other European schools between the thirties and the fifties. School of Prague ( Jakobson, Trubeckoi, Mathesius etc) School of Paris (Martinet) School of Copenaghen (Hjelmeslev: Glossematic Theory is considered too abstract and mathematical) School of London (Firth) The main evident features of these schools ( except in the case of Glossematics) is the stress on a unctional prospective (or Functionalist) which sees language as a basic instrument of communication and the structures correlated, instead, to functions. In America, despite the anthropological and typological trend which was present at the beginning of XX century in Sapir’s work, “Structuralism“ is widespread, on the contrary, in a model which is strongly descriptive and positivist called “distributionalism “ or “ Taxonimic Structuralism “ (worthy of great consideration is the scholar Bloomfield). This model aims at analysing language only on the behavioural basis which is empirically verifiable of the messages it produces apart from the functions and meanings.
Opposed to Structuralism we have Generativism with its founder Noam Chomsky who tackles the study of language from a formal perspective contrasting any other linguistic trend that priveleges empirical data inductively. He is inspired by models which are, on the one hand, mathematical and, on the other psychological, considering language as a chiefly innate faculty with its autonomous organisations which must be studied according to strictly deductive methods. The generative theory has, however, in almost 40 years, undergone to continuous change of results and a significative re-orientation which have slowly changed its order and main categories: from the "standard “ theory at the end of the years “ 60 – 70 “ to the so-called theory of “ Principles and Parameters “.
There are many other modern linguistic tendencies which are of great importance : Pike’s “ Tagmemics “, tesniere’s “ Grammar of Value (Valenza) “, Halliday’s “ Functional theories “, the Amsterdam School of Dik and the studies of Typological Linguistics.
The studies of “Typological Linguistics“ are usually based on principles more functional than formal that try to understand which are the potential mecchanisms of language and which are those already effected . What is therefore universal and what changes in the structure of language referring above all to the different ways in which the disparate languages of different linguistic families existing in the world realize the categories of the linguistic system. STRUCTURALISM IN EUROPE
SAUSSURE ( FREI , BALLY , etc. )
Saussure emphasized a synchronic view of linguistics in contrast to the diachronic historical study) of the 19th century . The synchronic view sees the structure of language as a functioning system at a given point in time. This distinction was a breakthrough and became generally accepted. A “sign “ is the basic unit of ‘langue’ (language ) (a given language at a given time). Every ‘langue’ (language )is a complete system of signs. ‘ Parole ‘ (word ) (the speech of an individual ) is an external manifestation of ‘langue’ (language ). Another important distinction is the one between syntactic relations, which takes place in a given text, and paradigmatic relations.
School of Prague with Trubeckoj Jakobson
To these we owe ‘the phonological theory’ from which we draw the notion of ‘phoneme’ based on the concept of opposition. Jakobson apart from setting out the principle of Diachronic Phonology , set up the analysis of ‘phonemes’ in distinctive binary opposition.
School of Copenaghen with Hjelmeslev Brondal
To Hjelmeslev we owe ‘the theory of Glossematics’. He develops in a systematic way many intuitions belonging to Saussure, and his ideas have turned out to have a great influence on literature, especially concerning literary theory through the semilogical elaboration of the concept ‘sign’ and the attempt to deepen the notion of ‘form of contents’ that leads to the introduction of structural semantics. Structuralism in U.S Sapir: his influence is still of vital importance even nowadays. He contributes in an original way to the elaboration of ‘phoneme’ and he has also written pages worthy of consideration concerning the cultural and psychological aspects of language.
Bloomfield: we owe to him the strict elaboration of analysis in ‘immediate constituents’ which is the basis of Syntagmatic Grammar with ‘tree graphs’ which will be used by Chomsky (the founder of the so called Generative Grammar) in the context of ‘generative Grammar'.
Halliday ‘s functionalism: his semiotic theory whereby language being a pragmatic and social phenomenon must be explained in all its aspects in relation to its linguistic usage.