Test Your Knowledge of Structural Linguistics

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is structural linguistics?

Who pioneered structuralist linguistics?

What is the difference between structuralism and semiology?

What is the foundation of structural linguistics?

What are syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations?

What is Saussure's concept of semiology?

What is American structuralism based on?

What is the legacy of structuralism?

What is the criticism of structuralism?


Overview of Structural Linguistics

  • Structural linguistics sees language as a self-contained, self-regulating semiotic system whose elements are defined by their relationship to other elements within the system.

  • It was derived from the work of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and is part of the overall approach of structuralism.

  • Saussure's Course in General Linguistics stressed examining language as a dynamic system of interconnected units, and he introduced several basic dimensions of semiotic analysis that are still important today.

  • Structuralism was not used by Saussure, who called the approach semiology.

  • Structural linguistics begins with the posthumous publication of Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics in 1916, which his students compiled from his lectures.

  • Structuralist linguistics is often thought of as giving rise to independent European and American traditions due to ambiguity in the term.

  • European structuralism was influenced by the Geneva School of Albert Sechehaye and Charles Bally, the Prague linguistic circle, the Copenhagen School of Louis Hjelmslev, the Paris School of André Martinet and Algirdas Julien Greimas, and the Dutch school of Simon Dik.

  • American structuralism, or American descriptivism, was based on structural psychology, especially Wilhelm Wundt's Völkerpsychologie, and later on behavioural psychology.

  • The foundation of structural linguistics is a sign, which in turn has two components: a "signified" is an idea or concept, while the "signifier" is a means of expressing the signified.

  • Syntagmatic and paradigmatic relations provide the structural linguist with a tool for categorization for phonology, morphology and syntax.

  • Structural explanation involves explaining elements of a language in relation to each other, and Saussure's concept of semiology sees language as arising from the interaction of form and meaning.

  • Those working in the generativist tradition often regard structuralist approaches as outdated and superseded, while others stress the continuing importance of Saussure's thought and structuralist approaches.The Structuralist Paradigm and Its Effect on Linguistics and Other Disciplines

  • Structuralism is a theoretical approach to understanding human culture and society that emerged in the early 20th century.

  • Structuralist linguistics, pioneered by Ferdinand de Saussure, seeks to analyze language as a system of signs and structures rather than as a collection of individual words and meanings.

  • Saussure's ideas were adopted by several prominent figures in continental philosophy, anthropology, and literary theory in the 1950s and beyond.

  • Structuralist linguistics had a significant influence on the development of generative grammar in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.

  • Critics have charged that Saussure's ideas have been misunderstood or deliberately distorted by continental philosophers and literary theorists and are not directly applicable to textual analysis.

  • In the 1960s and 1970s, structuralist ideas were applied to the study of myths, rituals, and other cultural phenomena.

  • Structuralism has been criticized for its emphasis on abstract systems rather than concrete cultural practices.

  • Structuralist linguistics has been largely superseded by more recent approaches such as cognitive linguistics and construction grammar.

  • The legacy of structuralism can be seen in the continued use of terms such as "structure" and "system" in various fields of inquiry.

  • Structuralism has been influential in the development of post-structuralism and deconstruction in philosophy and literary theory.

  • Modern guidebooks on structural analysis include those by Roland Barthes, Claude Lévi-Strauss, and Roman Jakobson.

  • Structuralism continues to be a subject of debate and controversy in various fields of inquiry.


How well do you know Structural Linguistics? Test your knowledge with this quiz that covers the basics of this theoretical approach to language and signs. From Ferdinand de Saussure's Course in General Linguistics to the influence of structuralism on other fields of inquiry, this quiz will challenge your understanding of the key concepts and ideas of Structural Linguistics. Put your thinking cap on and get ready to dive into the world of signs and structures!

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