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Linguistics

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=====Jacques Lacan=====
=====Early Work=====
While [[Lacan]]s interest in [[language]] can be traced back to the early 1930s, when he [[analyzed ]] the [[writing]]s of a [[psychotic]] [[woman]] in his [[doctoral dissertation]], it is only in the early 1950s that he begins to articulate his views of [[language]] in [[terms ]] derived from a specific [[linguistics|linguistic theory]], and not until 1957 that he begins to engage with [[linguistics]] in any detail.
=====Structural Linguistics=====
=====Claude Lévi-Strauss=====
[[Lacan]]'s "linguistic turn" was inspired by the [[anthropology|anthropological]] [[work ]] of [[Claude Lévi-Strauss]] who, in the 1940s, had begun to apply the methods of [[structure|structural]] [[linguistics]] to non-linguistic [[cultural ]] data ([[myth]], kinship relations, etc.), thus giving brith to "[[structural ]] [[anthropology]]."
In so doing, [[Lévi-Strauss]] announced an ambitious programme, in which [[linguistics]] would provide a paradigm of [[science|scientificity]] for all the [[social ]] [[sciences]]:
<blockquote>"Structural linguistics will certainly play the same renovating [[role ]] with respect to the social sciences that nuclear [[physics]], for example, has played for the [[physical ]] sciences."<ref>[[Claude Lévi-Strauss|Lévi-Strauss, Claude]]. 1945. "Structural [[analysis ]] in linguistics and in anthropology," in ''Structural Anthropology'', trans. Claire Jacobson and Brooke Grundfest Schoepf, New York: Basic Books, 1963. p.33</ref></blockquote>
=====Jacques Lacan=====
=====Psychoanalytic Theory=====
Following the indications of [[Lévi-Strauss]], [[Lacan]] turns to [[linguistics]] to provide [[psychoanalytic theory]] with a [[conceptual ]] rigour that it previously lacked.
The [[reason ]] for this [[lack ]] of conceptual rigour was simply due, [[Lacan]] argues, to the fact that [[linguistics|structural linguistics]] appeared too late for [[Freud]] to make use of it.
=====Sigmund Freud=====
However, [[Lacan]] argues that when [[Freud]] is reread in the light of [[linguistics|linguistic theory]], a coherent [[logic ]] is revealed which is not otherwise [[apparent]]; indeed, [[Freud]] can even be seen to have anticipated certain elements of modern [[linguistics|linguistic theory]].<ref>{{E}} p.162</ref>
=====Structural Linguistics=====
=====Diachronic and Synchronic=====
In contrast to the study of [[language]] in the nineteenth century, which had been exclusively "[[diachronic]]" (i.e. focusing exclusively on the ways that [[language]]s [[change ]] over [[time]]), [[Saussure]] argued that linguists should also be "[[synchronic]]" (i.e. focus on the [[state ]] of a [[language]] at a given point in [[time]]).
=====''Langue'' and ''Parole''=====
=====Concept of the Sign=====
This led him to develop his famous [[distinction ]] between ''[[langue]]'' and ''[[parole]]'', and his [[concept ]] of the [[sign]] as composed of two elements: [[signifier]] and [[signified]].
====="Course in General Linguistics"=====
All these [[ideas ]] are developed in [[Saussure]]'s most famous work, the "Course in General Linguistics," which was constructed by his students from [[notes ]] they had taken at [[Saussure]]'s lectures at the Unviersity of Geneva and published [[three ]] years after his [[death]].<ref>[[Saussure|Saussure, Ferdinand de]]. (1916) ''[[Saussure|Course in General Linguistics]]'', ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, trans. Wade Baskin, Glasgow: Collins Fontana. p.114</ref>
=====Roman Jakobson=====
[[Jakobson]] further developed the line laid down by [[Saussure]], pioneering the [[development ]] of phonology, as well as making important contributions to the fields of [[grammatical ]] semantics, pragmatics and poetics.
=====Jacques Lacan=====
=====Language as Structure, System of Signifiers=====
From [[Saussure]], [[Lacan]] borrows the [[concepts ]] of [[language]] as a [[structure]], although whereas [[Saussure]] had conceived it as a [[system ]] of [[sign]]s, [[Lacan]] conceives it as a system of [[signifier]]s.
=====Metaphor and Metonymy=====
From [[Jakobson]], [[Lacan]] borrows the concepts of [[metaphor]] and [[metonymy]] as the two axes ([[synchronic]] and [[diachronic]]) along which all [[linguistics|linguistic phenomena]] are aligned, using these terms to [[understand ]] [[Freud]]'s concepts of [[condensation]] and [[displacement]].
=====Other Linguistics Concepts=====
[[Other ]] concepts which [[Lacan]] takes from [[linguistics]] are those of the [[shifter]], and the distinction betwen the [[statement]] and the [[enunciation]].
=====Linguistics and Psychoanalytic Theory=====
=====Psychoanalytic Use of Linguistic Concepts=====
In his borrowing of [[linguistic]] [[:category:concepts|concepts]], [[Lacan]] has been accused of grossly distorting [[them]].
[[Lacan]] responds to such criticisms by arguing that he is not doing [[linguistics]] but [[psychoanalysis]], and this requires a certain modification of the concepts borrowed from [[linguistics]].
In the end, [[Lacan]] is not really interested in [[linguistics|linguistic theory]] in itself, but only in the ways it can be used to develop [[psychoanalytic theory]].<ref>{{L}} ''[[Seminar XVIII|Le Seminaire. Livre XVIII. D'un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant, 1970-71]]'', unpublished. [[Seminar]] of 27 January 1971.</ref>
It was this that led [[Lacan]] to coin the neologism ''[[linguistics|linguistérie]]'' (from the [[words ]] ''[[linguistics|linguistique]]'' and ''[[hysteria|hystérie]]'') to refer to his [[psychoanalytic ]] use of linguistic concepts.<ref>{{S20}} p. 20</ref>
----
In [[seminar XX ]] Lacan formulated this distinction between his own use of the term 'language' and linguistics through the neologism ''[[la linguisterie]]''.
Linguistics is concerned with the [[formalization ]] of language and [[knowledge]].
''[[La linguisterie]]'' on the other hand is the side of language that linguistics ignores.
It refers to those points in language when [[meaning ]] fails and breaks down; it is the science of the [[word ]] that fails.
Fink rather nicely translates ''[[la linguisterie]]'' as '[[linguistricks]]', which serves to emphasize the playfulness of the [[unconscious ]] and the way it is always trying to trip the [[subject ]] up, playing tricks on [[conscious ]] [[thought]].
It is in this [[sense ]] and not in the sense of [[formal ]] linguistics that the unconscious is [[structured ]] like a language.
==See Also==
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