Part of the Kommunikation und Kybernetik in Einzeldarstellungen book series (COMMUNICATION, volume 2)


It would be a commonplace to say that language is the most important invention of man. In fact, it is more than that, because man and language are parallel developments. It is consequently of no use arguing about the priority of one or the other. If we say that primitive man invented language or that the invention of language made some intelligent primate into man, we say the same thing. Man is a talking animal; no other animal talks. It will be clear, I suppose, from later chapters that the so- called languages of some animals (bees, etc.) are not languages in the sense in which this concept is taken in structural linguistics (cf. particularly Chap. XI). So we could more suitably say that the making of man and the making of language are identical. Homo sapiens is homo loquens.


Translation Machine Human Language Linguistic Research Linguistic Analysis Structural Linguistic 
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Bibliographical Notes

  1. For some of the general, basic ideas of structural linguistic theory and analysis, see among others L. Hjelmslev, “Prolegomena to a Theory of Language”, 2nd revised ed., transi, (from the Danish original “Omkring Sprog-teoriens Grundlaeggelse”, 1943) by Francis J. Whitfield, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1961,Google Scholar
  2. and H. J. Uldall, “Outline of GlossematiCs; a Study in the Methodology of the Humanities with Special Reference to Linguistics, part I: General Theory” /Travaux du Cercle linguistique de Copenhague X, 1957/.Google Scholar
  3. B. Siertsema has given a critical survey of the fundamental concepts of glosse-matics in “A study of Glossematics”, 1955.Google Scholar
  4. Cf. also Hjelmslev’s “Principes de grammaire générale”, 1928, and other of his works (e.g. “Structural Analysis of Language”, in “Studia linguistica” II, 1948, pp. 69–78; together with other of the author’s articles re-edited in “Essais linguistiques”, /Travaux du Cercle linguistique de Copenhague XII, 1959/- An important modem orientation has been given by H. A. Gleason, “An Introduction to descriptive Linguistics”, 2nd revised ed., 1961.Google Scholar
  5. Cp. also P. Hartmann, “Allgemeine Strukturgesetze in Sprache und Grammatik”, 1961; “Zur Theorie der Sprachwissenschaft”, 1961.Google Scholar
  6. A critical analysis of linguistic form was given by G. F. Meier, “Das Zéro-Problem in der Linguistik ; kritische Untersuchungen zur strukturalistischen Analyse sprachlicher Form”, 1961. The philosophical and logical background to glossematics can be found in Rudolf Carnap (e.g. “The Logical Syntax of Language”, 2nd ed., 1949). A tendency similar to that of structuralism and of glossematics may be found not only in philosophy (Émile Meyerson) but also in aesthetic and literary criticism (e.g. in Wolfgang Kayser, “Das sprachliche Kunstwerk”, 3rd ed., 1954) and within natural sciences.Google Scholar
  7. Cf. e.g. E. Schrödinger: “... the ultimate particles are — pure shape, nothing but shape”, and further: “identity arises out of form or organization. — The identity of the material, if there is any, plays a subordinate role” ... “Form, he says, not substance /is/ the fundamental concept” (“Science and Humanism: Physics in our time”, 1951 ; cp. the same author’s “Mind and Matter”, 1958).Google Scholar
  8. See also L. Heilmann in “Quaderni dell’ Istituto di glottologia di Bologna” II, 1957, particularly p. 16. A survey of the use of the term “structure” has been given by different writers in R. Bastide, “Sens et usages du terme structure dans les sciences humaines et sociales”, 1962.Google Scholar
  9. L. Heilmann Some of the ideas exposed here may be traced as far back as Wilhelm von Humboldt (e.g. in “Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaus”, ed. from 1949).Google Scholar
  10. General problems of communication are treated by G. A. Miller, “Language and Communications”, 1951;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. by C. Cherry, “On Human Communication”, 1957;Google Scholar
  12. by Norbert Wiener, “The Human Use of Human Beings”, 1950, etc.Google Scholar
  13. The concept itself and various definitions given of it are discussed by A. J. Ayer in “Studies in Communication” /Communication Research Centre, University College/, London, 1955, pp. 11–28. A short survey of the problems and their practical implications for human intercourse was given by the author in “Linguistic Barriers to Communication in the Modern World”, Ibadan University Press 1960.Google Scholar
  14. by Norbert Wiener, A general survey with numerous references is also given in the author’s work “Nya vägar inom sprâkforskningen” (2nd ed. 1962) ;Google Scholar
  15. Norbert Wiener, English translation “New Trends in Linguistics” (1964). References to works on communication, sound transmission, pedagogical applications, semantics, sociology and social anthropology are given in later chapters. The quotation from H. Glinz (“Denkform”) is to be found in “Die innere Form des Deutschen” /Bibliotheca Germanica IV, 1952, p. 19/ (with reference to L. Weisgerber, etc.). For the quotation from Quine, see his book “Word and Object”, 1959.Google Scholar
  16. by Norbert Wiener, Rasmus Rask has been treated in recent years by L. Hjelmslev, “Rasmus Rask” (in “Store danske personligheder” II, 1949, pp. 174–185), and by Paul Diderichsen, “Rasmus Rask og den grammatiske tradition”, 1960. by Norbert Wiener, A survey of the discussion about the Neogrammarian doctrine and sound-laws is given in my book “New Trends” (pp. 12 – 15, 20 – 22, 69 – 73) with further references.Google Scholar
  17. by Norbert Wiener, For Ferdinand de Saussure and his theories, see in the first place “Cours de linguistique générale” (1916, and following editions; English translation by Wade Baskin, “Course in General Linguistics”, 1960; German translation by H. Lommel, “Grundfragen der allgemeinen Sprachwissenschaft”, 1931; Spanish translation, with an important introduction and numerous notes, by Amado Alonso, 1945),Google Scholar
  18. and also R. Godel, “Les sources manuscrites du Cours de linguistique générale de F. Saussure”, 1957;Google Scholar
  19. A. Sechehaye, “Les trois linguistiques saussuriennes”, 1940;Google Scholar
  20. B. Malmberg, “F. Saussure et la phonétique moderne” /Cahiers F. de Saussure, XII, 1954, pp. 9–28/, etc. — Trubetz-koy’s system is exposed in “Grundzüge der Phonologie” /Travaux du Cercle linguistique de Prague VI, 1939; French translation “Principes de phonologie”, by G. Haudricourt, 1949/.Google Scholar
  21. B. Malmberg, Bloomfield’s doctrine is exposed in “Language”, 1933; Jakobson’s in, among numerous other works, “Fundamentals of Language”, 1956, and “Selected Writings” I, 1962; Martinet’s in e.g. “Phonology as Functional Phonetics”, 2nd ed. 1955, “Éléments de linguistique générale”, 1960, “La description phonologique”, 1956; “Économie des changements phonétiques”, 1955, and “A Functional View of Language”, 1962.Google Scholar
  22. Cf. also Zellig S. Harris, “Methods in Structural Linguistics”, 1951 ;Google Scholar
  23. A. Martinet and U. Weinreich, “Linguistics Today”, 1954;Google Scholar
  24. Martin Joos, “Readings in Linguistics”, 1957;Google Scholar
  25. Sol Saporta, “Psycholinguistics”, 1961.Google Scholar
  26. Sol Saporta Noreen’s mode of linguistic description and his great descriptive work on Swedish “Vårt språk” (= Our language), Vol.I—V, VII, IX, 1903 – 23, has been described by J. Lotz in “Studia linguistica” VIII, 1954; a selection of his studies was translated into German and published by Hans Pollack, “Einführung in die wissenschaftliche Betrachtung der Sprache”, in 1923. — Buyssen’s notes on Saussure were published in “Cahiers F. de Saussure” XVIII, 1961, pp. 17 – 33. The quotation from Martinet is to be found in “Économie”, p. 13- Cp. hereto Malmberg, in “Studia neophilologica” XXXI, 1959, pp.298–306. — For the general problem of opposition versus identity, see also my article “Opposition et identité” in “Journal français de Phoniatrie et d’oto-rhino-laryngologie” I (Bull, de la Société française de Phoniatrie VIII) 1959, pp. 65–83.Google Scholar

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of ArtsUniversity of LundSweden

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