Du centre à la périphérie : structuration des langues en diachronie, ou la forme interne des langues et ses axes de développement

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Since it is difficult to define language, an effective method of proceeding is by deepening and strengthening the knowledge of its properties, in particular through comparisons. This paper aims to clarify the well known property of human languages, which are characterized by having a centre and a periphery. The notions of centricity-peripherality, developed within the Prague linguistic tradition, apply to many other entities, both cultural and natural: towns first of all, but also physiological systems (the circulatory and nervous systems), and physical phenomena (the formation of crystals, the propagation of circles in the water resulting from the impact of a water droplet…). The lines followed are twofold: i. the primacy of the linguistic activity of the community of speakers over metalinguistic considerations; ii. the identification of three layers of the metalinguistic enterprise: the system (lexicon and grammar) and the inner form of its structuring ; the sentence and its syntagmatic structure; the utterance and its indexical origin. The Praguian linguistic tradition finds itself in conversation with authors from outside its ranks, from Aristotle to Wittgenstein, through Humboldt and Marty. If science needs metaphors and can’t do without them, constitutive metaphors have to be preferred. The metaphor of centre and periphery proves to be one of these.
Titolo tradotto del contributo[Autom. eng. transl.] From the center to the periphery: structuring of languages in diachrony, or the internal form of languages and its axes of development
Lingua originaleFrench
pagine (da-a)85-96
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2010


  • Circolo di Praga
  • Humboldt
  • Prague Linguistic Circle
  • Wittgenstein
  • centre
  • centro
  • constitutive metaphor
  • enunciato
  • enunciazione
  • linguistic system
  • metafora costitutiva
  • periferia
  • periphery
  • sentence
  • sistema linguistico
  • utterance


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