Course in General Linguistics Questions and Answers
by Ferdinand de Saussure

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What are the meanings of the terms langue and parole?

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The terms langue and parole are part of the system of linguistics articulated by Ferdinand de Saussure in his Course in General Linguistics, a text that ushered in the beginning of the structuralist appraoch to linguistics in the early 20th century that superseded the 19th century interest in historical and comparative philology as a mode of linguistic analysis. One of the most import shifts was a move from synchronic to diachronic analysis. In Saussure's system of linguistics analysis, langue contains all possible utterance of the language or the system necessary to generate them whereas parole is the specific or individual utterance.

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