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Beyond Superstructuralism by Richard Harland

By Richard Harland

Relocating on from his prior e-book, Superstructuralism , Richard Harland argues that the point of interest on unmarried phrases within the structuralist thought of language is its key weak point and that the following strengthen past post-structuralism is dependent upon exchanging word-based with syntagm-based theories. In a lucid means he develops a brand new syntagmatic concept which indicates that the impact of mixing phrases grammatically can remodel the very nature of which means. The vast breadth of insurance within the e-book covers either post-Chomskyan' linguistics and Derrida, and units up an competition to analytic and speech-act perspectives of language. by way of providing a scientific critique and counter-proposal, Harland demanding situations the very origin of contemporary literary and language dependent conception.

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It is syntagmatic synthesis which redeems our investment in the precarious meanings of single words. Those same grammatical categories which served to decompose the three-dimensionality of the world now serve to recompose a new threedimensionality in sentences. Not that a recomposition of aspects can ever simply 18 A THEORY OF THE SYNTAGM recreate the fullness of the real full case. No amount of adjectival definition (for instance) could ever specify the qualitative uniqueness of a particular real dog.

Conversely, a particular word may spread into new territories of meaning, but it rarely grows as a simple homogeneous whole. As the dictionary shows, most commonly used words exist in the form of a number of related senses. It is difficult to see how this kind of multiplicatory development could be explained in terms of boundaries and dividing-lines. It is also difficult to see how this kind of development could be compatible with the Saussurean notion of a closed semantic space. On that notion, one word in langue is able to acquire new meaning only as another word in langue loses it.

What happens is altogether more drastic. In syntagmatic synthesis and projection, the meaning of the single word gets left behind. Or to put it another way: the meaning of the single word is taken up into a higher kind of meaning, it loses itself in the meaning of a sentence. We are looking at a process of radical transformation and transcendence. In such transformation and transcendence lies the true miracle of language. The meanings of single words come from what we already know, from past associations and past memories.

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