By Roy Harris
Saussure as a linguist and Wittgenstein as a thinker of language are arguably the 2 most vital figures within the improvement of twentieth-century linguistic proposal. by means of stating what their principles have in universal, regardless of emanating from very diverse highbrow assets, this research breaks new floor.
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Additional info for Language, Saussure and Wittgenstein: How to Play Games with Words (History of Linguistic Thought)
And gives the answer:' Only those who have mastered the use of a language. That is to say, the phenomena of hope are modes of this complicated form of life. 174) Earlier in the Philosophische Untersuchungen, however, we find the observation: 30 1 1 Language and Thought It is sometimes said that animals do not talk because they lack the mental capacity. And this means: "they do not think. " But - they simply do not talk. Or to put it better: they do not use language - ifwe except the most primitive forms oflanguage.
The point to note in the present context is Saussure's early insistence that the correct solution, however counterintuitive it might seem and however unprecedented, was to be found by treating the 'sound' as defined in relation to a system. Wittgenstein for his part also unequivdcally accepts the view that one cannot divorce verbal signs from the systems to which they belong. During the early 1930s his preferred term for the system was calculus. He writes: If you are' puzzled about the nature of thought, belief, knowledge and the like, substitute for the thought the expression of the thought, etc.
One may well hesitate before doing so, and search for other possibilities. ') The example Saussure discusses (CLG:227) is the first use ofthe word indicorable ('undecoratable'). Ex hypothesi the speaker has never heard this word before: the mental 'search' for it is therefore of a different order from the search for a familiar expression which eludes one. What Saussure says about this type of case is that although the word indicorable may never have been used before, nevertheless the pattern for its formation already existed.