Text linguistics

Robert de Beaugrande
Table of contents

A decisive step in the rise of modern ‘Western Continental’ linguistics was to instate the central tenet that language should be considered a uniform, stable and abstract system apart from variations due to individual or social contexts and activities. The description of the language should be couched in highly general statements about the language as a whole or even in universal ones about all languages. This (Saussurean) programme inaugurated the search for the complete set of constraints upon ‘language in and for itself’ (‘langue’) without reference to the use of language (‘parole’). The constraints should cover all valid instances or sets of instances of the language.

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