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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 3 months ago



"In natural language, the opposition of serial/parallel is basic; an intrinsic and constitutive binary. It appears, as a very general linguistic distinction according to the Glossary of Semiotics, as the opposition of syntagmatic ("relationships ... of linear, temporal sequence") and associative or paradigmatic ("relationships which do not as such occur in time but make up an array of possibilities"). Or again, according to Roman Jakobson, Fundamentals of Language, as a completely abstract and general feature opeative at all levels of speech: "The concurrence of simultaneous entities and the concatenation of successive entities are the two ways speakers combine linguitic constituents." 73. Jakobson goes on to observe that "The fundamental role which these two operations play in language was clearly recognized by Ferdinand de Saussure. Yet of the two varieties of combination -- concurrence and concatenation -- it was only the latter, the temporal sequence, which was recognized by the Geneva linguist." 74, a fact which, according to Jakobson, stems from Saussure's immersion in the traditional belief "qui exclut la possibilit√© de prononcer deux elements a la fois" 75. Evidently, the serial/parallel duo functions at all levels of speech: phoneme as simultaneous bundle of distinctive features, syllable as succession of phonemes, the inherent parallelism of intonation/gesture, the combined linearity and simultaneous unity of utterances, and so on." -Brian Rotman, Going Parallel





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