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What is the difference between Structuralism and Functionalism in linguistics?

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Structuralism refers to the idea that the components of a thing must be understood in order to fully comprehend the entirety of the thing. As this applies to linguistics, it suggests that understanding structure is essential to understanding what language is meant to convey. It places heavy emphasis on understanding and categorizing parts of speech like noun phrases and verb phrases as well as other aspects of linguistic structure in order to determine meaning. Saussure, the person credited with the concept of structural linguistics, saw language as a system.

Functionalism emerged in contrast to these ideas. Functionalism prioritizes thinking about the reasoning that creates language and the intended meaning of communication rather than about strictly categorizing parts of language that create meaning. In functionalism, structures emerge organically from the intent to communicate, whereas structuralism divorces all functionality from its assessment of the makeup of language structure.

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Structuralism began with Ferdinand de Saussure a Swiss linguist. It incorporated a body of remarks and categorized them into different grammatical themes. Functionalism has more to do with the language of the text. It is how the reader relates to the passage's mood and literary themes.

Structuralism focuses on the basics: beginning of language. It is the very meaning of each word and dissecting the root of each word and how it fits within the context of the sentence. For example, verb phrases, morphemes, and nouns all fit into this particular way of linguistically thinking. This is a clear, systematic approach to understanding language.

Functionalism is the contentedness between words. It digs deeper by finding the hidden meaning, metaphors and overall theme of the passage. An example includes figurative language and theme. This is a deeper understanding of associations between words and text.