Structuralism in Linguistics Essay (Article)
In the unit under consideration, it is necessary to pay certain attention to the sphere of linguistics and several influential contributions connected to an idea of structuralism. Ferdinand de Saussure influenced considerably the chosen sphere and introduced a deep language analysis and importance of structuralism. Structuralism is usually defined as a general approach to various academic disciplines, and in linguistics, it is regarded as an analyzing phenomenon that is used to contrast different language elements which are related to each other in present. The main point of this approach is that the evaluation of the elements has to be organized synchronically but not diachronically.
An idea of structuralism lies in the fact that structures turn out to be specific inter-relationships within which culture is the major determinant of the meaning. Structuralism cannot be defined as a separate school of several authors because it is still more general approach that is characterized by a number of variations. However, the works by Ferdinand de Saussure remain to be the most significant sources which define the nature of structuralism and the development of structural linguistics. There are many grammatical rules which aim at exploring the meaning of an idea, and structural linguistics helps to relate these meanings through different times and cultures. Words consist of several elements which are the signifier and the signified. The signifier is a verbal element; and the signified is the meaning of the chosen word that may be spread in different societies.
In general, structuralism is a term that proves that language has a certain structure and consists of a special system of signs understanding of which promotes proper relation of meanings.
Ferdinand de Saussure is a structuralist regarding his definition of language as a set of multiple signs with emphasis on structure of this system. The linguist focuses on the structure of a field for linking a particular phonic sound (the signifier) with the corresponding idea (the signified). Thus, in the frames of the structuralist approach, Ferdinand de Saussure denies the significance of a single language sign taken separately without considering the context and its place in the system.