However, Pearson's article was still semiological, and, with Barthes, was still tied to the Saussurean
4) His indebtedness to Saussurean
linguistics is already visible in his morpheme definition, cf.
The tragic knowledge that Jefferson intuits is that like the Saussurean
sign, Sally and "America" are two sides of a sheet of paper, in this case the Declaration of Independence; one goes with the other, even though the En/light/eners have seemingly erased her dark presence.
But in placing Hardy's poetry in particular at the end of a tradition rather than at the beginning of a new one (modernism), and in parallel to the transition from a diachronic linguistics to a Saussurean
, Taylor's defence becomes something of an apology, and even he cannot avoid calling Hardy's language, by the end of the book, a 'Frankensteinian creation' (p.
For various approaches natural language semantics without the Saussurean
"signified" (qua concept and/or meaning) have been developed - from (i) the Quinean view in which there are no such mentalistic or abstract meanings but only "dispositions to respond" (which eventually produce semantic indeterminacy, with resulting ontological relativity) to (ii) varieties of "use" theories in which linguistic meanings are explicable as a function of speaker intentions and community conventions Grice-Searle-Lewis-Bennett) to (iii) post-modernistic despair in postulating any "Signifieds" or replacements so that signs are reduced to signifiers capriciously used to enforce or rebel against (intra- and inter-) cultural relationships of social power.
Moreover, the final section, which proposes the cultural materialism to be found in the anthropology of Marvin Harris as the way to 'do' literary analysis, does raise salutary questions over the ascendancy of Levi-Strauss in the 1960s amongst those who first blazed the theory road, and over how Marxism so readily embraced the skewed Saussurean
basis of structuralism.
Nevertheless, the imperative relationship, from a Saussurean
perspective, is to other elements in the contemporary system: 'each linguistic term derives its value from its opposition to all the other terms' (Saussure 1964, p.
Since he is caught in the Saussurean
trap of having no words to name his problem, and is thus unable to fully recognize it or define it, Leonce cannot imagine the damage to his power and reputation that Edna can cause.
Eschewing empiricism and quantitative methods (which assume the existence of some form of reality that can be represented), most postmodernists rely on interpretive methods borrowed from Saussurean
linguistics and hermeneutics to support their often contradictory claims.
If for centuries, under the general aspect of the word as sign, language was haunted by the idea of presence, that a word belonged to, that it could restore to consciousness, an object in the world, it is now equally haunted by non-presence, by the Saussurean
ruled line which separates signified and signifier and ghosts language not with a world but with other texts.
Thus Bowie stages what happens when Lacan rewrites the Saussurean
sign, turning the signified/signifier formula on its head: "the signified retreats to the lower position, shrinks into the lower case and withers into italic type"; or, he portrays Lacan's difficult-to-classify piece on "God and the Jouissance of the Woman," in Encore, as it " lurches between catechism, riddle-book and Pindaric ode" (64, 150; emphases added).
terms, what Wittgenstein and Heidegger should have said is that worldhood and subjectivity depend on signs, not specifically on language.