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B. Interfacing Concepts of Translation and Subjectivity
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This psychoanalytic view is not a return to the early modern image of autonomous subjects in an ordered and free society. But it shares their aim of showing language as rooted in the senses and in the expressive capacities of thinking subjects-perhaps not all master of the signifiers but potentially so, through the possibility of learning and the mastery of linguistics as an epistemological tool. Still, through the twentieth century, in all these theories, language was considered specific to a society. One premise is that the act of signifying must be generated by a subject bound within a particular signifying system. In general, structural linguists sought an ideal system for all languages, and psychoanalysis and semiotics countered with a model of pluralistic modes of signification in moments of social history. Neither model considered the person who combines systems, is embedded in two systems simultaneously, and daily signifies dually. Just as both psychoanalysis and semiotics look for erasures, that which signs repress, it is again ironic that bilingual theorists so often elided bilinguality as a category of social being.