Saussure%20new%20version0 - Saussure Anthropology 270/271...

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Click to edit Master subtitle style 5/23/11 Saussure Anthropology 270/271 Professor Adrienne Lo
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5/23/11 Ferdinand de Saussure 1857-1913 Founding father of structuralism Individual items can only be understood in terms of their role in a system The system is what is underlying what we can observe The system is built on oppositions Though we may not be aware of the system, we still all work within it
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5/23/11 Oppositions in the sound system Eng /d/ and /t/ Hindi has 6 different kinds of /d/ and /t/ (voice, place of articulation, and aspiration) hindi consonants Different linguistic systems (and different cultures) are built on different sets of oppositions
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5/23/11 Oppositions in meaning We can only determine the meaning of a word because it is embedded in a system “woman” ------- “girl” [+female] [+female] [+age] [-age] “man” axes of similarity/difference [+male] [+age]
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5/23/11 Sound and meaning Acoustic Articulatory tall tall (what you hear) (pronunciation) Meaning TALL (the concept)
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