Theory of Language

The representational function of language

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Karl Bühler (1879-1963) was one of the leading theoreticians of language of the twentieth century. Although primarily a psychologist, Bühler devoted much of his attention to the study of language and language theory. His masterwork <i>Sprachtheorie</i> (1934) quickly gained recognition in the fields of linguistics, semiotics, the philosophy of language and the psychology of language. This <strong>new edition</strong> of the English translation of Bühler’s theory begins with a survey on ‘Bühler’s legacy’ for modern linguistics (Werner Abraham), followed by the <i>Theory of Language, </i>and finally with a special ‘Postscript: Twenty-five Years Later …’ (Achim Eschbach). Bühler’s theory<i> </i>is divided into four parts. Part I discusses the four <i>axioms</i> or principles of language research, the most famous of which is the first, the <i>organon model</i>, the base of Bühler's instrumental view of language. Part II treats the role of indexicality in language and discusses deixis as one determinant of speech. Part III examines the symbolic field, dealing with context, onomatopoeia and the function of case. Part IV deals with the elements of language and their organization (syllabification, the definition of the word, metaphor, anaphora, etc).The text is accompanied by an Introduction (Achim Eschbach); Translator's preface (Donald Fraser Goodwin); Glossary of terms; and a Bibliography of cited works.

Subjects: Theoretical linguistics; Philosophy; Semiotics; History of linguistics

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