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By Gustave Guillaume

This quantity provides, for the 1st time in English, a consultant view of Gustave Guillaume's idea. The texts, drawn regularly 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 previous 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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Exact observation of an entity of tongue is not easy, even if consideration of it is limited to a single moment of its existence. This kind of work requires an apprenticeship, which is exactly what we are all engaged in here. (Lecture of January 27, 1944, Series A) THE MENTALLY SEEABLE AND THE SAYABLE1 One of the features of psychosystematics is that one cannot progress without the help of representative diagrams. The advice of Leibnitz was to think schematically. One might ask why this should be so.

Guillaume discusses one such language, Basque, in his Leçons de linguistique 1948-1949, Série B, pp. 79ff. PROBLEMATICS OF A SCIENCE OF LANGUAGE 29 category including only a small part of the lexical meaning, the most general part, all the rest being left to the field of the noun. This would be the case of French if, instead of forming the verb as we do without resorting to an allegedly analytical and logical periphrastic form, we normally said je suis marchant instead of je marche. The category of the verb would thus ipso facto be reduced to the single verb être and all the other verbs would have emigrat­ ed, under an adjectival form, to the field of the noun.

Some grammarians have deliberately left aside the problem of the real nature of the article, dwelling mainly on the secondary fact that, having a variable form, the article is a semiological indicator of gender for nouns whose gender has otherwise no apparent mark: la chaise, le fauteuil. The inadequacy of these explanations is painful. And one is surprised to see them incessantly paraded, not only in the grammar books intended for teaching children, but also in works having a more lofty aim. That such explanations, which really explain noth­ ing, are persistently repeated on all sides, is due to the grammar­ ians1 obstinate refusal to look at anything other than the axis of items handed down historically, while completely ignoring the axis of systematic relationships.

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