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Writing of Spirit : Soul, System, and the Roots of Language Science (Paperback) (Sarah M. Pourciau)
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Contemporary thought has been profoundly shaped by the turn toward synchronic models of explanation, which analyze phenomena as they appear at a single moment, rather than diachronically as they develop through time. Nowhere, however, has this transformation unfolded more influentially than in the domain of language science, where the terminology of synchrony and diachrony first explicitly emerges.The Writing of Spirit sets out to demonstrate, through a new history of language science, that we do not know what we think we know about this pivotal juncture in our intellectual past. Twentieth-century linguistic structuralism, it argues, does not replace the historicist approach of the nineteenth century with a more modern, more systematic perspective, as has long been assumed, because the relationship between history and system is structuralism’s point. The real revolution consists not in a turn away from language time, but in a turn toward time’s absolutely minimal conditions, and thus also toward a theory of diachrony, boiled down and distilled.Pourciau arrives at this surprising and powerful conclusion through an analysis of language scientific theories over the course of two centuries, associated with thinkers from Jacob Grimm to the Russian Futurists and from Richard Wagner to Roman Jakobson, in domains as disparate as historical linguistics, phonology, acoustics, opera theory, philosophy, poetics, and psychology. The result is a novel contribution to one of the most pressing questions of our intellectual moment, namely, the question of what role the study of history should play in the interpretation of the present.
Number of Pages: 373
Genre: Literary Criticism, Language + Art + Disciplines, Science
Publisher: Fordham Univ Pr
Author: Sarah M. Pourciau
Street Date: May 1, 2017
Item Number (DPCI): 248-46-2949
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