By Gustave Guillaume

This quantity offers, for the 1st time in English, a consultant view of Gustave Guillaume's suggestion. The texts, drawn ordinarily from his manuscript notes for lectures on the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, have been chosen so far as attainable for his or her accessibility, as requiring no earlier wisdom of his paintings. the result's a landscape of the far-ranging and sometimes provocative considered one of many 20th century's most unusual linguists.

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Extra resources for Foundations for a Science of Language

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It is this intuitional mechanics which is the operator of the structure of languages, while the struc­ ture of languages, in turn, is a faithful reflection of its activity. All the workings of this intuitional mechanics are subconscious. Subconsciousness and intuition are much the same: the effectiveness of the operations of this intuitional mechanics as attested in the structures of language, where the results of these operations can be seen, proves conclusively that within us there is an order of activ­ ities over which we have no conscious control.

It is one of the most curious of Gustave Guillaume's writings. The analyses and insights in it open unexpected perspectives on the two cognitive categories of space and time. Philosophers and scientists will find that it provides new food for thought on the problem discussed. PRELIMINARY COMMENTS 9 One principle that I shall make great use of this year in the research to be presented here is that we can think only by making contrasts. In particular, it will be shown that the contrast of space and time is the ultimate contrast, created to make thought possible when the mind, working upstream to its very sources, en­ counters there the non-contrast which is not thinkable.

I have on occasion regretted spending so much of my career as a linguist on the study of the system for representing time, and ne­ glecting the even more significant study of the general conditions governing linguistic systems. I began the latter study by discover­ ing that the different systems of the category of number, of the article, and of the binary representation of the universe (spaceuniverse/time-universe) — this being the basis of the parts of speechhad the same underlying mechanism. And this led me to the idea, now sufficiently verified to put forward, that tongue is a peripheral system for apprehending the thinkable, a system which integrates within itself, by circumscrib­ ing them, more confined systems, with different limits, all of them reiterating the same general form.

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