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Literary Criticism. Class #1. Structuralism. “ Linguistics is not simply a stimulus and source of inspiration but a methodological model which unifies the otherwise diverse projects of structuralists.” (Culler, Structuralist Poetics , 4).

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  • Linguistics is not simply a stimulus and source of inspiration but a methodological model which unifies the otherwise diverse projects of structuralists.”

  • (Culler, Structuralist Poetics, 4)



Ferdinand de saussure

Ferdinand de Saussure analyses which all aim at

(1857-1913)


Publications
Publications analyses which all aim at

  • 1916

    Course in General Linguistics



The sign
The Sign analyses which all aim at 符號


I. analyses which all aim at

  • “The bond between the signifier and the signified is arbitrary,” not “motivated” (by natural resemblance).

    (Saussure)



Bracketing the referent
bracketing the referent analyses which all aim at

  • =leaving out the third dimension of the sign, that to which it refers

  • Argued that language should be studied apart from the world to which it refers.

  • Language = chess?

    (Norton 959)


Bracketing the referent1
bracketing the referent analyses which all aim at

  • Against “reference,” essentialism, or mimetic representation, namely, one-to-one correspondence between words and things


Possible exceptions
Possible exceptions analyses which all aim at

  • 1. Onomatopoeia: “shatter,” “clash,” “tick-tock,” “drip-drop”

  • 2. Interjections: “哎呀!” “Ouch!” “Damn!” “Gosh!” “Shit!”


II. analyses which all aim at

  • “In language there are only differences 差異" (Saussure, Course in General Linguistics).

  • “The meanings of words are . . . relational” (Barry 42).



Vertical axis meaning on its position in a ‘

Paradigmatic chain

syntagmatic chain

Horizontal axis


m meaning on its position in a ‘at

bat

  • I bought my hat in an antique store.

    cat

    rat


hovel meaning on its position in a ‘

shed

hut

  • Ms. Su lives in a house.

    apartment

    mansion

    palace


  • Saussure’s example: “we feel the 8.25 p.m. Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is not a substance but a form, defined by its relations to other trains. It remains the 8.25 even though it leaves twenty minutes late, so long as its difference from the 7.25 and the 9.25 is preserved. Although we may be unable to conceive of the train except in its physical manifestations, its identity as a social and psychological fact is independent of those manifestations” (Culler 11).


Binary oppositions
Binary Oppositions Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is

  • “Indeed, the relations that are most important in structural analysis are the simplest: binary oppositions” (Culler, 14).


  • good / evil Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is original / copyprimary / secondaryinside / outsidereality / appearanceessence / accident

  • http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/binaries.html


  • soul / body Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is pure / corruptedfather / sonmale / femalespeech / writing

  • http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/binaries.html


  • center / margins Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is normal / deviantnatural / unnaturalstraight / gaywhite / blackself / other

  • http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/binaries.html


  • truth / fiction Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is philosophy / mythsciences / humanitiesclassical / romantic

    modern / postmodernpoet / critichttp://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/binaries.html


  • sex / gender Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is master / slavehigh culture / pop culture

    base / superstructurewaking / dreaming

    latent content / manifest contentthe library / the web

  • http://www.lawrence.edu/dept/english/courses/60A/handouts/binaries.html


http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem05.html Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is


L homme sans t te
L’Homme Sans Tête Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is

  • (directed by Juan Solanas)

  • Discussion: Identify the binary opposites.


The paradigmatic chain
the paradigmatic chain Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is

  • “What goes without saying” → ideology

  • What is “conspicuous by its absence” → flout conventional expectations → value

  • (Daniel Chandler, “Semiotics for Beginners,” http://www.aber.ac.uk/media/Documents/S4B/sem05.html)


III. Geneva-to-Paris Express to be the same train each day, though the locomotive, coaches, and personnel may be different. This is because the 8.25 train is

  • “Language constitutes our world . . . Meaning is always attributed to the object or the idea by the human mind, and constructed by and expressed through language: it is not already contained within the things” (Barry 43).



武松打店 am”?

  • Discussion:

    (1) Identify binary oppositions

    (2) Discuss how language constitutes our world.


Langue vs parole
Langue am”? vs. Parole

  • Parole 話語 : an individual utterance (specific, diachronic)

  • Langue 語系: a larger system or structure (synchronic, ahistorical)

    (Barry 44)



Noam chomsky
Noam Chomsky am”?

  • Competence能力→ Langue

  • Performance表現→ Parole


Semiology vs semiotics
semiology am”? vs. semiotics

  • Semiology:

  • Semiotics:


Food for thought
Food for Thought am”?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of using linguistics to study other cultural phenomena?


Claude l vi strauss

Claude L am”?évi-Strauss

(1908-)


Publications1
Publications am”?

  • 1962 The Savage Mind

  • 1962 Totemism

  • 1964-71 Mythologiques (4 vols)

  • 1978 Myth and Meaning

  • 1984 Anthropology and Myth




The oedipus myth
The Oedipus Myth am”?

  • (1) the overvaluation of kinship ties (Oedipus marries his mother; Antigone buries her brother unlawfully)

  • (2) the undervaluation of kinship (Oedipus kills his father; Eteocles kills his brother)


L vi strauss
L am”?évi-Strauss

  • “[T]he individual tale (the parole) from a cycle of myths did not have a separate and inherent meaning but could only be understood by considering its position in the whole cycle (the langue) and the similarities and difference between the tale ad others in the sequence” (Barry 46).



  • The End rituals of a single group of people in some remote part of the world


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