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Decontextualising and Recontextualising Tendencies in 20th Century Linguistics and Literary Theory

By Dirk Geeraerts

Abstract

Let us assume that one would have to present the history of 20th century linguistics in a nutshell: what would be the main lines of development? Would it be possible at all to synthesize a century of theoretical development into a few pages? The present paper contains a proposal for how this might be done. I will try to identify some of the main lines in the development of 20th century linguistics, I will argue that this development is characterized by a succession of a decontextualising and a recontextualising movement, and I will compare the development of linguistic theory with the development of literary theory, where a more or less similar development may be found. Obviously, there is a price to pay for the attempt to cover such a vast domain. For one thing, I will be able to focus only on the mainstream developments in the international scene of linguistics, disregarding local traditions, isolated individual achievements, and forerunners. For an other, a historiographical programme of this type basically takes the form of a logical reconstruction: can we retrospectively find a perspective that brings order into the apparent chaos? To what extent does the development len

Year: 2003
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.134.7500
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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