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Quotations From FERDINAND DE SAUSSURE


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  • Language furnishes the best proof that a law accepted by a community is a thing that is tolerated and not a rule to which all freely consent.
    Ferdinand De Saussure (1857-1913), Swiss linguist. Course in General Linguistics, pt. 1, ch. 2, sect. 1 (1916). "Of all social institutions," de Saussure continued, "language is least amenable to initiative. It blends with the life of society, and the latter, inert by nature, is a prime conservative force."
  • A linguistic system is a series of differences of sound combined with a series of differences of ideas.
    Ferdinand De Saussure (1857-1913), Swiss linguist. Course in General Linguistics, pt. 2, ch. 4, sect. 4 (1916).
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