S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 36 Number 1/4 (2000)
Quelques Aspects Épistémologiques de la Psychomécanique : Some Epistemoligic Aspects of the Psycho-mechanics
- Cheong, Kye-Seop
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.36 No.3, pp. 573-591
- This article is the culmination of research into the field of psycho-mechanics, as developed by distinguished French linguist G. Guillaume, and explores the possibility of further development in this area.
The field of psycho-mechanics is an exploration into the operation innate to the linguistic structure. In this field the term psycho is not an intuitive notion, but rather, in contemporary terms, refers to the optimal application of the signifiant to the signife'.
Supposing, from the fact that even the average person can acquire their mother tongue without any difficulties, that there are not an overwhelming number of operations, Guillaume thought that the two most fundamental notions are particularization and generalization, both having the nature of mechanics.
Accordingly, he generally describes linguistic phenomenon in terms of vector. We found in his research on articles that the vector, which represent movement, has numerous positions. Just like the thought operation process, on vector is a continuos stream, which cannot be represented as itself.
Just as photography captures movement in one instant, it is necessary for this stream to be interrupted and articulated. Guillaume refers to this captured time period as operative time, which plays a pivotal role in the mechanisms of enunciation. Due to this, the usage values are determined by the relative length of the operative time and these values constitute the opposition system. According to this, we would like to consider the establishment of the notion of operative time as his first contribution.
In Guillaume's theory, the conciliator of the operative time is naturally the enunciator. On these grounds he established enunciative linguistics by placing the reference point of discourse on the enunciator, who is the main element. This was his second contribution.
Thirdly, as explained above, his linguist frame of reference was dynamic. The linguists before Guillaume, traditionally approached linguistics phenomenon in a static nature, on the contrary, Guillaume redefined this approach by introducing a dynamic frame of reference. This approach could potentially provide the elementary prerequisite for research of linguistic phenomenon.
Fourthly, he inspired the introduction of the hypothetical-deductive method to linguistics by surmounting positivism, which looks for the source of knowledge only on the basis of experience, and emphasizing the importance of abstract reasoning on language research.
Lastly, as we know from the proposition "Language is the science before science," he captured the cognitive function of natural language. It is no exaggeration that active research nowadays on cognitive function of metaphor is derived primarily from Guillaume's research.
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