Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) is generally considered one of the main founders of modern linguistics and semiotics. The book that was derived from his teaching, the Course in General Linguistics, had a lasting impact on the intellectual life of the 20th century and remains today an object of debate and controversies.
This Guide for the Perplexed introduces the reader to the ways in which Saussure developed his revolutionary insights on language in the context of the linguistics of his time. It also provides clear definitions and explanations of the basic notions that form the substance of his work, with relevant examples of how they apply to the understanding of language and other symbolic systems. The book demonstrates how Saussure’s ideas have subsequently been used in the humanities and social sciences. It concludes by pointing to the continuing relevance of the theoretical and practical problems that were articulated by Saussure.
This is the ideal book for those studying Saussure, structural linguistics, or semantics and semiotics, offering a clear overview and explanation of all the key aspects of this fascinating linguist’s work.