LINGUIST List 15.1774

Thu Jun 10 2004

Books: Philosophy of Language: Harris

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  1. Charlotte.Maxwell, Saussure and his Interpreters: Harris

Message 1: Saussure and his Interpreters: Harris

Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2004 06:18:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Charlotte.Maxwell <>
Subject: Saussure and his Interpreters: Harris

Title: Saussure and his Interpreters
Subtitle: Second Edition

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher:	Edinburgh University Press

Book URL:

Author: Roy Harris, Emeritus Professor of General Linguistics in the
	University of Oxford

Paperback: ISBN: 0748617833, Pages: 272, Price: U.K. � 16.99


"In the last century, Ferdinand de Saussure has been both saviour and
straw man, his Cours de linguistique g�n�rale having been the object
of misunderstanding, distortion and plain error. In what is by far the
best book on the heritage of Saussure - now in a second edition that
features a discussion of the recent, explosive findings about the
notes for the Cours - Harris puts the record straight. The volume
should be read by everyone who is interested in communication and
should be the first port of call after the Cours for anyone involved
in teaching Saussure's ideas." Paul Cobley, London Metropolitan

"Saussure and his Interpreters is meticulously researched, powerfully
argued and of fundamental importance. It is essential reading for
anyone with an interest in language, literature or the history of
ideas." The Use of English

This book is the first major reassessment of the reception of
Saussure's ideas in the academic world of the twentieth century. It is
well known that Saussure's work profoundly influenced developments in
such diverse fields as linguistics, anthropology, psychology and
literary studies. But what exactly were Saussure's views taken to be
by his interpreters? How well were Saussure's ideas understood by
those who took them up? Or how badly misunderstood? And why? The
answers to these questions address central issues in the history of
Western culture.

Each chapter focuses on one particular interpreter of Saussure's work,
but many others are mentioned in context for purposes of comparison,
and attention is drawn to connections and disparities between their
interpretations. Those whose interpretations are examined in detail
include Bloomfield, Hjelmslev, Jakobson, L�vi-Strauss, Chomsky,
Barthes and Derrida.

In an important supplement to the new edition, account is taken of
recently found notes in Saussure's hand. The discovery re-opens the
whole question of the extent to which the Cours de linguistique
g�n�rale, posthumously published in 1916, accurately reflects the
stage that Saussure's thinking about language and communication had
reached by the time of his death. It suggests a new interpretation of
Saussure that differs significantly from any of those previously

* The only comprehensive survey of this field
* Up-to-date coverage of recent developments in Saussurean studies
* Analysis by one of today's leading authorities on Saussure

Customers in North America please contact New York University Press.

Lingfield(s):	Philosophy of Language
Written In:	English (Language Code: ENG)

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