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What if Derrida Was Wrong About Saussure?$
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Russell Daylight

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780748641970

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748641970.001.0001

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Linguistic Identity

Linguistic Identity

(p.108) 6 Linguistic Identity
What if Derrida Was Wrong About Saussure?

Russell Daylight

Edinburgh University Press

There is one ongoing concern of the Course in General Linguistics which explains more about the limits of engagement between Jacques Derrida and Ferdinand de Saussure than any other, which is with the determination of linguistic identity. The linguistic discourse urges us to consider specifically how we determine sameness and difference, how two things are said to be the same and two things are said to be different. This chapter argues that there is an essential incommensurability between Derrida's approach and Saussure's in the handling of what Saussure calls ‘the language user’ in the determination of linguistic identity. It begins by opening out Derrida's engagement with linguistic identity, or the determination of meaning, as it appears in ‘Signature Event Context’, ‘Freud and the Scene of Writing’ and Speech and Phenomena. After discussing context, repetition and ideality, the chapter considers Derrida's interrogation of the meaning of the word ‘communication’, sameness and difference, identity and identification and the language user.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, Ferdinand de Saussure, linguistic identity, sameness, difference, language user, meaning, context, repetition, ideality

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