Monday, April 23, 2007
from Ferdinand de Saussure's "Course in General Linguistics," a statement, and then the footnote by the "original editors" *:
The linguistic sign unites, not a thing and a name, but a concept and a sound-image.  The latter is not the material sound . . .
3. The term sound-image may seem to be too restricted inasmuch as beside the representation of the sounds of a word there is also that of its articulation, the muscular image of the phonational act. But for F. de Saussure language is essentially a depository, a thing received from without. The sound-image is par excellence the natural representation of the word as a fact of potential language, outside any actual use of it in speaking. The motor side is thus implied, or, in any event, occupies only a subordinate role with respect to the sound-image.
*Deconstruction in Context, Mark C. Taylor, ed. (Univ of Chicago Press, 1986). The de Saussure piece translated by Wade Baskin.