Ferdinand De Saussure in the Era of Cognitive Linguistics
Language and Semiotic Studies, Vol. 2, No. 2, Summer 2016
12 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2017
Date Written: July 03, 2016
Ferdinand de Saussure’s thoughts on language came to light in 1916 with the publication of Cours de linguistique générale by his students. A hundred years on, the influence of his thoughts on modern linguistics is still being pinpointed. This paper reviews Saussure’s influence on the cognitive approaches to meaning and grammar. The main objective is to demonstrate how Saussure planted the seeds of Cognitive Linguistics through his semiotic model of the “linguistic sign” (a sound-concept pairing) and how the influence of this model is growing in the era of Cognitive Linguistics. The study demonstrates that Saussure has had a greater impact on modern linguistics than pointed out in the literature, considering that his thought on language underlies cognitive linguistics theories which can be described as representing a return to the pre-Saussurean notion of the non-arbitrariness of the linguistic sign.
Keywords: Cognitive Grammar, Cognitive Semantics, Conceptual Blending Theory Conceptual Metaphor Theory, linguistic category, linguistic sign, Prototype Theory
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