'Linguistic turn' refers to the connection between philosophy and language and is a twentieth century concept.
Philosophers study the basis of different concepts and their relation to each other. Philosophy studies the human relationship to these concepts and our interpretation on an ongoing basis. It is a logical, analytical, critical way of looking at something.
The 'linguistic turn' came about because, as linguistic theory developed, the idea of the subjectivity of language replaced the idea of the objectivity of language. Language became something where meaning was selected subjectivity in cultures instead of meaning existing objectively in reality.
Structure is very important in any language, as Ferdinand de Saussure found.
Structure, reference, truth, meaning, and necessity
are the fundamental considerations. "Things" only exist because we named them according to characteristics. In doing so, we attached relevance and importance to them according to cultural agreement. Objectivity is lost in this circumstances.
Saussure therefore introduce the idea of signifier + (what is being) signified = sign. For example,
if some one (the signifier) shouts “run” to a tree, that person is only “making noise.”
and there is, of course, no reaction from the tree. Now consider if someone overhears another conversation but it is in a foreign language - it means nothing to him or her and no connections can be made although that person is aware that something has been "signified."
The underlying theme in the 'linguistic turn' is the fact that
language’s underlying structure, always eludes the individual and the social will.
When this was applied to the Humanities, as it was soon applied, it was found that objective pursuit of explanations and reasons for events in history were not possible. This was the 'linguistic turn': the humanities including history turned toward a subjective understanding of language and sholarly pursuits. Meaning is only attached to the word once it is shared and a relationship between the form or structure and the perceiver takes place.