The performance of language
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The performance of language book
In this chapter, the author begins with the analytic system that forms the ground of all modern linguistics, semiotics. Semiotics was proposed as a approach to the study of human social behavior by the father of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure. The 1916 Course in General Linguistics, compiled from notes by Saussure's students after his death, called for a "new science" of semiology within the general field of social psychology that would study "the role of signs in social life." Linguistic theorists throughout Europe built upon Saussure's work throughout the following century, but the strategies of his proposed new science also gradually came to be applied to the analysis of a very wide variety of cultural phenomena, including the arts. During the 1960s and 1970s, a number of European theorists began applying semiotic analysis to theatre, an interest that spread to England and America during the 1980s, where semiotics provided a grounding vocabulary, procedural model, and basic orientation for much future work.