Date: Wed, 13 Sep 1995 12:23:08 -0400 From: Wayne Glowka Subject: Re: Pronounciation of Oxymoron -Reply >Yes, Sali, clearly constructs such as 'dialect' are real, as are >observable patterns of behavior of all sorts. Individuals have neurons >that do something physical when they speak, as well as when they understand >language. That's the "reality" I was referring to. One's concept >of a neuron may be a construct, but a neuron is a concrete physical >entity. Likewise the size and contour of the vocal tract is "real" and >surely plays a part in the production of speech -- as well as the musculature >in the chest and larynx that is activated as syllables are produced. > >The "reality of the phoneme" is another instance of something that is >real, though probably with no single, specifiable physical locus. Here I'm >thinking of the 1920s or 30s article (by Sapir?). DMLance You may be thinking of something else, but you can get close with de Saussure, Ferdinand. "The Object of Linguistics." Ch. III of _Course in General Linguistics_. Ed. Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye. 1915. Trans. Wade Baskin. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1959. See p. 15: "4) Language [langue?] is concrete, no less so than speaking [parole?] . . . . Linguistic signs, though basically psychological, are not abstractions; associations which bear the stamp of collective approval--and which added together constitute language--are realities that have their seat in the brain . . . .Besides, linguistic signs are tangible; it is possible to reduce them to conventional written symbols . . . ." [Untangle that syntax!] Sapir, Edward. "The Sounds of Language." Ch. III of _Language_. 1921. Rpt. New York: Harcourt, 1949. See p. 55: "The inner sound-system, overlaid though it may be by the mechanical or the irrelevant, is a real and immensely important principle in the life of a language." Wayne Glowka Professor of English Director of Research and Graduate Student Services Georgia College Milledgeville, GA 31061 912-453-4222 wglowka[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]