Difference between revisions of "Linguistics"

From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
Jump to: navigation, search
(Metaphor and Metonymy)
(The LinkTitles extension automatically added links to existing pages (https://github.com/bovender/LinkTitles).)
 
Line 3: Line 3:
 
=====Jacques Lacan=====
 
=====Jacques Lacan=====
 
=====Early Work=====
 
=====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.
+
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=====
 
=====Structural Linguistics=====
 
=====Claude Lévi-Strauss=====
 
=====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."
+
[[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:
+
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>
+
<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=====
 
=====Jacques Lacan=====
 
=====Psychoanalytic Theory=====
 
=====Psychoanalytic Theory=====
Following the indications of [[Lévi-Strauss]], [[Lacan]] turns to [[linguistics]] to provide [[psychoanalytic theory]] with a conceptual rigour that it previously lacked.
+
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.
+
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=====
 
=====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>
+
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=====
 
=====Structural Linguistics=====
Line 29: Line 29:
  
 
=====Diachronic and Synchronic=====
 
=====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]]).
+
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''=====
 
=====''Langue'' and ''Parole''=====
 
=====Concept of the Sign=====
 
=====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]].
+
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"=====
 
====="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>
+
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=====
 
=====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.
+
[[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=====
 
=====Jacques Lacan=====
 
=====Language as Structure, System of Signifiers=====
 
=====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.
+
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=====
 
=====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]].
+
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 Linguistics Concepts=====
Other concepts which [[Lacan]] takes from [[linguistics]] are those of the [[shifter]], and the distinction betwen the [[statement]] and the [[enunciation]].
+
[[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=====
 
=====Linguistics and Psychoanalytic Theory=====
 
=====Psychoanalytic Use of Linguistic Concepts=====
 
=====Psychoanalytic Use of Linguistic Concepts=====
In his borrowing of [[linguistic]] [[:category:concepts|concepts]], [[Lacan]] has been accused of grossly distorting them.
+
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]].
 
[[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]].
Line 59: Line 59:
 
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>
 
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>
+
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]]''.  
+
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.  
+
Linguistics is concerned with the [[formalization]] of language and [[knowledge]].  
  
 
''[[La linguisterie]]'' on the other hand is the side of language that linguistics ignores.  
 
''[[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.  
+
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.  
+
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.
+
It is in this [[sense]] and not in the sense of [[formal]] linguistics that the unconscious is [[structured]] like a language.
  
 
==See Also==
 
==See Also==

Latest revision as of 21:00, 25 May 2019

French: linguistique
Jacques Lacan
Early Work

While Lacans interest in language can be traced back to the early 1930s, when he analyzed the writings 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 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 anthropological work of Claude Lévi-Strauss who, in the 1940s, had begun to apply the methods of 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 scientificity for all the social sciences:

"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."[1]

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 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 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 linguistic theory.[2]

Structural Linguistics

Lacan's engagement with linguistics revolves almost entirely aorund the work of Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson.

Ferdinand de Saussure

Saussure was the founder of "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 languages 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.[3]

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 signs, Lacan conceives it as a system of signifiers.

Metaphor and Metonymy

From Jakobson, Lacan borrows the concepts of metaphor and metonymy as the two axes (synchronic and diachronic) along which all 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 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 linguistic theory in itself, but only in the ways it can be used to develop psychoanalytic theory.[4]

It was this that led Lacan to coin the neologism linguistérie (from the words linguistique and hystérie) to refer to his psychoanalytic use of linguistic concepts.[5]


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

References

  1. 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
  2. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.162
  3. Saussure, Ferdinand de. (1916) Course in General Linguistics, ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye, trans. Wade Baskin, Glasgow: Collins Fontana. p.114
  4. Lacan, Jacques. Le Seminaire. Livre XVIII. D'un discours qui ne serait pas du semblant, 1970-71, unpublished. Seminar of 27 January 1971.
  5. Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XX. Encore, 1972-73. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1975. p. 20