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Saturday, May 18, 2013

Langue and Parole

Langue and Parole

            The major contribution of Ferdinand de Saussure to linguistics can be summed up as providing the basic groundwork of fundamental concepts; his definition of the ‘linguistic sign’; his explanation of the distinction between concrete and abstract linguistic units; distinction between descriptive (synchronic) and historical (diachronic), study of language, and so on. He was under the influence of the new scientific temperament and followed the principles of Durkheim who said that
‘we have social facts that can be studied scientifically when we consider them from an aspect that is independent of their individual manifestations’.
            This attitude helped the shaping of the structuralist approach.

            De Saussure put forward the concepts of La langue, La Parole and Le Language. He concentrates on two of them.
  1. By langue, he meant ‘the language system’ and
  2. By Parole he meant the ‘act of speaking’.
  3. By Language he meant ‘human speech as a whole’.
            This human speech or language is composes of Langue and Parole. La Language does not have exact equivalent in English. It embraces the faculty of language in all its various form and manifestations. La language is the faculty of human speech present in all normal hum being due to heredity but which requires the correct environmental stimulus or stimuli for proper development. It is our faculty to talk to each other. It is many side and heterogeneous. It can be taken as whole. Because it covers several areas simultaneously that is physical, physiological and psychology. It belongs to the individual and to the society. We can not put it into ant category of human traits because we can not discover its unit yet it is a universal behavior trait more of interest of the anthropologist or biologist than to the linguist who commences his study with Langue and Parole. Language is for us Le Langue.

            According to Saussure is the totality of Langue deducible form an examination of memories of all language users. It is the store house, the some total of word imagine in the minds of individuals. It is not to be confused with human speech of which it is only a definite part although certainly an essential one. It is both a social product of the faculty of speech of and a collection of necessary convention that have been adopted by a social body to permit individuals to exercise that faculty. Language is the lexical, grammatical and phonological constitution of a language. It is the collective fact of a language. It is a corporate social phenomenal. It is homogenous, it is concrete. We can study it scientifically. It is grammar plus vocabulary plus pronunciation system of a community.

            La langue is a collective pattern which exists as ‘a sum of impressions deposited in the brain of each individual.., like a dictionary of which identical copies have been distributed to each individual... it exists in each individual, yet it is common to all’. La langue is a repository of signs which each speaker has received from the other speakers of the community. It is passive. It is a set of conventions received by us all, ready-made from the community.

            Ultimately Langue to has to related Parole which is the actual uses of individuals which a community manifest itself in everyday speech that the actual concrete act of speaking on the part of and individual the controlled or construable psychophysical activity. Parole is the set of all utterances that have actually been produced. Parole is  a personal, dynamic, social activity which exists at a particular time and place speech. Parole is something personal and the only object available for direct observation to the linguist. It is constant and generalized observation of the linguist. It is constant and generalized an ordinary speaker can neither create it not modify it. A German scholar Ulimall has tabulated the main difference between language and Parole in following manner.

La Parole : By contrast la parole is active and denotes the actual speech act of the individual. We can better understand it by considering each act of speaking as a unique event. It is unique because it reflects the unstable, changeable relationship between the language, the precise contextual elements triggering particular utterances, and personal factors. Thus each particular speech act is characterised by the personality, nature and several other external forces governing both the production and reception of a speech act. There is a great deal that is particular, individual, personal and idiosyncratic about la parole as opposed to la langue which emphasizes speech as the common act of behaviour, ‘given that there is a good deal that is idiosyncratic or not fully institutionalised, parole cannot be stable and systematic’ (Wilkins : 34). Parole gives the data from which statements about langue are made; parole is not collective but individual, momentary and heterogenous.

As Francis P. Dinneen points out “when we hear la parole of another community, we perceive the noises made, but not the social fact of language. We cannot connect the sounds produced and the social facts with which the other speech associates the sounds. When we hear la parole within our own community we perceive the sounds as associated with social facts, according to a set of rules. These rules, which can be called the convention, or grammar, of the language are habits that education has imposed on us. They have the property of being general throughout the community. That is why all the speakers can understand each other.
Langue (Language)
Parole (Speech)
1. It is stable and institutionalised.    
1.      It is mobile and personal.
2. It is passive.           
2.      It is active.
3.It is a social fact and general for the community.    
3.      It is individual and idiosyncratic.

4.It contains the negative limits on what a speaker  must say.
4.      It doesnot put any such limits.
5. It is sum of properties shared by all speakers of a community.      
5.      It contains infinite number of individual properties.
6. A scientific study can only be based on La langue
6.      It is not amenable to scientific study.
7. It is an abstraction.
7.      It is concrete manifestation
8. It is a collective instrument.
8.      It is not a collective instrument.
9. It is a set of conventions and habits handed down to next generation readymade.
9.      It is diverse and variegated.
10. It is language as a speaker is expected to use.
10.  It is language in actual use.
11. It is not subject to social and individual pressure.         
11.  It is susceptible to social and other pressure.
12. It is fixed.
12.  It is free.
13. It is a potential form of language.
13.  It is an actualised form of language

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