2015-07-21Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1515/sem-2015-0067
From Saussure to sociology and back to linguistics
Niklas Luhmann’s reception of signifiant/signifié and langue/parole as the basis for a model of language change
Sprach- und literaturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
The article highlights a semiotically relevant aspect of Niklas Luhmann’s Theory of Social Systems: its reception of the Saussurean dichotomies signifiant/signifié and langue/parole. Luhmann’s position is weighted against the Cours as well as Saussure’s original writings, sampling their approaches to form, meaning, the sign’s two-sidedness, and the relation of linguistic structure and speech events. Ultimately, the article proposes a social ontology of linguistic abstraction in line with general semiology that explains the motility of language through communication, thereby accounting for variability and optionality. It also indicates as to how the theoretical framework can feed into a model of linguistic description.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.