By Michel Arrivé

When you learn or reread Freud, it really is tough to not locate on a unmarried web page references to language: from speech to textual content, from slip of the tongue to be aware play, from letter to meaning-passing unavoidably during the unusual proposal of literal meaning, that interested Freud. briefly, the subconscious is associated with language. How might or not it's another way, if psychoanalysis is a treatment via speech as indicated as early as 1881, by way of Fraülein Anna O.? the matter of the connection among linguistic and psychoanalytic ideas unavoidably arises. beforehand this query has been tested more often than not via psychoanalysts, from their very own point of view, yet right here it truly is investigated by way of a linguist, who systematically explores domain names. the 1st is expounded to the sign and symbol, the place the assembly of Freud, Saussure and Hjelmselv ocurred; while within the moment, that of the signifier, Saussure reappears escorted by way of Lacan. yet Freud isn't really far-off, sine the Lacanian conception of the signifier is rooted not just in Saussure's Cours, but additionally within the Metapsychology and in Freud's Correspondence with Fliess. To aspire to solve this knot, in reality corresponds to try a examining of the Lacanian aphorism “the subconscious is dependent like a language”.

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Extra resources for Linguistics and Psychoanalysis: Freud, Saussure, Hjelmslev, Lacan and others

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98) has not yet been effected. ). As far as terminology is concerned, symbol is here qualified by conventional, which the language of the CGL will later make quite impossible. At the time of the essay in honour of Whitney and in clear contradiction with his later position in the CGL, Saussure would seem to believe that there are two classes of symbol: those which are "conventional" (or "independent"6) and the rest, which are not given a name but no doubt could be called natural. If one were to consider whether there might be a link between these two differences one THE SYMBOL IN LINGUISTICS 23 could bear in mind the etymological origin of the word symbol which, while perhaps affording material for conflicting approaches to the problem of the abitrariness of the sign7 can be accommodated more easily with the sign-thing relation present in the 1894 essay than with the signifier-concept relation which has triumphed, to the exclusion of all other possibilities, in the CGL.

For the comparison could have no meaning whatever if it was made between a system of signs (language) and a system of symbols (games). The truth is that for Saussure the chess-pieces are not symbols. (Incidentally, it would surely be extremely difficult to see how they might be motivated). To attack Hjelmslev's position with the argument that the queen's single expression corresponds to two contents would have no meaning in this case for, while of arguable validity for chess, the argument does not hold for algebra.

In psycho-analysis, on the other hand, the history of the constitution of the symbol occupies a central position. ) in its wake the problem of the origins of language, and of the language of origins; this will become of central importance in Freud and it is to deal with this problem that he will call on "his" linguists, namely Carl Abel and Hans Sperber. The role they play will be described in chapter IV. My decision to limit the texts of psycho-analysis studied in this book to those of Freud is justifiable, I think, given that psycho-analysis, unlike linguistics, has the rather peculiar characteristic of being the creation of one man, Freud.

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