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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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The Sign and Time

The Sign and Time

(p.130) 7 The Sign and Time
What if Derrida Was Wrong About Saussure?

Russell Daylight

Edinburgh University Press

‘Semiology and Grammatology’ is oriented towards questions of communication as the transport of pure signifieds, and hence towards the classical concept of the sign, the transcendental signified and phono-logocentrism. In response to the question of structure, Jacques Derrida refers the reader to the essay ‘Différance’, and to the work of différance upon the theory of synchronic structure proposed by Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure is, according to Derrida, the thinker who instituted the field of semiology which is based on the arbitrary and differential character of the sign. The progress in Saussure is the formulation of the differential and arbitrary characteristics of the sign, which are constituted by the différance of spacing. The impediment in Saussure results from the formulation of signification, or the division and movement between the signifier and signified, which is constituted by the différance of temporisation. This chapter discusses the relationship between différance and difference, Derrida's intervention of time within no-time, temporality in the Course in General Linguistics, and Saussure's insistence upon the strict division between synchrony and diachrony.

Keywords:   Jacques Derrida, Ferdinand de Saussure, sign, time, temporality, spacing, temporisation, différance, synchrony, diachrony

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