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By Gustave Guillaume

This quantity provides, for the 1st time in English, a consultant view of Gustave Guillaume's proposal. The texts, drawn mostly from his manuscript notes for lectures on the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, have been chosen so far as attainable for his or her accessibility, as requiring no earlier wisdom of his paintings. the result's a landscape of the far-ranging and infrequently provocative considered one of many 20th century's most unique linguists.

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Extra info for Foundations for a Science of Language

Sample text

Students from past years know about my studies dealing with the problem of the transition from tongue to discourse, and so I can simply appeal to their recollection of the subject. A large part of my re­ search was concentrated in the field of this transitional phenomenon whereby discourse is produced from tongue. Some years later, probably after reading what I had written, fellow linguists recognized the importance of this problem and saw, in acts of discourse as a whole, an actualization of what tongue provides.

Sometimes they are one and the same, which of course is splendid, but even better and more beautiful is the fact that a man of little knowledge can never­ theless be one of great lucidity. Napoleon, who was a thinker, often reflected on this encounter between knowledge and lucidity. And time and again he would give greater weight to lucidity than to knowledge — of any kind. This lucidity which he sought, which he prized and believed in above all else, he called, in appropriate Napoleonic style, Ze juste sentiment des choses — the right feeling for things.

Logic is the imaginary route things follow, one that does not have to take into account any accidents along the way, any problems and difficulties that things, because they are things and not just ideas, necessarily bring with them. As I recall, Leibnitz put it like this: "Things impede each other, ideas do not". But the fact that things impede each other does not prevent seeing order in them. Accounting for this order in the light of all the hindrances consti­ tutes coherence. The fact that ideas do not hinder each other allows for an orderly, imaginary treatment which takes no account of the accidents en route.

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