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Theoretical InquiryLanguage, Linguistics, and Literature$
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Austin E. Quigley

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300101669

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300101669.001.0001

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Saussure, Firth, and Bakhtin: Unity, Diversity, and Theory

Saussure, Firth, and Bakhtin: Unity, Diversity, and Theory

(p.43) Chapter 2 Saussure, Firth, and Bakhtin: Unity, Diversity, and Theory
Theoretical Inquiry

Austin E. Quigley

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the work of Ferdinand de Saussure, John Rupert Firth, and Mikhail Bakhtin. Saussure's Course in General Linguistics reflected his recognition of the heterogeneity of the phenomenon called language—a heterogeneity that, to his mind, precipitates a kind of disorder that constantly threatens to disable the discipline of linguistics. In 1949, English linguist Firth confirmed the new confidence and growing prominence of the discipline of linguistics, and his remarks registered the success of the revolution in the field that Saussure had sought to bring about. Bakhtin was one of the Russian formalists who was deeply concerned with the static formalism of Saussure's ideas.

Keywords:   linguistic theory, linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure, John Rupert Firth, Mikhail Bakhtin

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