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Ferdinand de Saussure was born in Geneva in 1857 He got trained as a historical linguist published detailed analyses of Indo-European languages lectured at Paris and Geneva and also taught courses on synchronic linguistics He died in 1913 and he is now recognised as the father of modern linguistics The main principles of Saussures theory of linguistics are 1 The Sign 2 Langue And Parole 3 Synchronic And Diachronic 4Paradigmatic and Syntagmatic Saussure stated that the most basic element of language is the sign Language is a system of signs Signs have 2 components they are a union of signifier form which signifies such as a noise and signified idea conveyed Noises only count as language if they communicate ideas Signs can only be understood in the context of a system of signs which is language Langue is a system of forms It is general and societal It is the proper object of linguistics Parole is the externalisation of langue in actual speech It is particular and individual It is the proper object of phonetics The synchronic study of language is the study of a linguistic system at a particular point in time The diachronic study examines it across different points in time Because signs are arbitrary and relational they must first be studied synchronically to determine their relation to each other at a particular time then diachronically to determine both how their relations to one another change across time and how the individual combinations of signifier and signified change across time There is a syntagmatic relation between words in sequence eg Sam followed John If these change so does the meaning of the sentence eg John followed Sam Syntagmatic study investigates different
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