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By Roy Harris

ISBN-10: 0826479243

ISBN-13: 9780826479242

The normal Western view of writing, from Aristotle all the way down to the current day, has taken care of the written notice as a visible alternative for the spoken notice. The eminent Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) was once the 1st to supply this conventional assumption with a reasoned foundation through incorporating it right into a extra common thought of indicators. within the wake of Saussure's paintings, glossy linguistics has neglected or marginalized writing in favour of the examine of speech. In all literate societies, besides the fact that, speech in flip is interpreted via connection with the culturally dominant writing method. This places in position a procedure of academic values which guarantees that the extra literate contributors of society retain superiority over the fewer literate, and while establishes a hierarchy between literate societies which favours the neighborhood product (alphabetic scripts within the Western Case). Roy Harris indicates that the speculation of writing followed in sleek linguistics is deeply mistaken. Reversing the orthodox priorities, the writer argues that writing is a much more robust mode of linguistic conversation than speech may perhaps ever be. His booklet is a big contribution to present debates approximately human conversation written and spoken.

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Or perhaps they do? These are questions that bring us face to face with the difficulty of conceptualizing and explaining, even in a quite sophisticated literate society, exactly what the relationship between speech and writing is. And especially difficult if one wishes to interpret the 6 Dionysius himself seems to have lived in the 2nd century BC, but the surviving treatise that bears his name is probably a much later composition. ' A good modern edition is that of Jean Lallot, La Grammaire de Denys le Thrace, Paris, CNRS, 1989.

A superficially similar but much shallower complaint reappears in the work of some twentieth-century linguists. ) Aristotle's Abecedary 19 otherwise is to make the mistake of equating language with its material residuum. And this Plato implicitly compares with mistaking the portrait for the living person. Plato's scepticism strikes at the very foundations of utilitarian literacy. It questions the validity of divorcing the speech from the speaker, the text from the writer. And insofar as writing encourages us to believe in the viability and usefulness of that divorce it is, for Plato, a deception.

Halle, Niemeyer, 1886, where it is recognized that the series of possible speech sounds is 'infinitely numerous'. Where Saussure goes beyond Paul is in trying to explain how this infinite variety can nevertheless be 'reduced' to a small, fixed inventory of elements which is not an arbitrary selection from competing phonetic classifications. 38 Rethinking Writing for Saussure an irrelevance, since what counts is not the actual sound but the image acoustique. Unlike its (variable) realization in utterance, the image consists of a determinate number of elements.

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Rethinking Writing (Continuum Collection) by Roy Harris


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