Papers from Jakobson's SW (7)

Jakobson, Roman 1971 [1955]. One of the speculative anticipations An Old Russian treatise on the divine and human word. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings II: Word and Language. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 369-374.

Amid the numerous grammarian writings of the ninth to the seventeenth centuries, carefully reprinted by I. V. Jagić from Church Slavonic manuscripts ("Rassuždenija južnoslavjanskoj i russkoj stariny o cerkovno-slavjanskom jazyke", Issledovanija po russkomu jazyku, I. Akdemija Nauk, Otd. rus. jazyka i slovenosti, vol. I, St. Petersburg 1885-95), there occurs an anonymous Colloquy on Teaching Letters (Besěda o učenii gramotě), found in Muscovite manuscripts of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (see pp. 673-685 of the cited publication). It is a series of brief questions and detailed answers. After an inquiry and reply to "What is literacy?" the author introduces the question of the genetic relationship between reason and letters and his answer, affirming the primacy of reason, broaches a wider problem: he attempts to define the place of language in human life (pp. 673-676). (Jakobson 1971 [1955]: 369)
As always, I proceed to draw analogies with the study of nonverbal communication. John Bulwer worked in the seventeenth century and his works in old English even seem somewhat readable. From him, one could also proceed to Francis Bacon, who also wrote about gestures. But whereas here "letters" are related to reason, Bulwer treats facial expressions as related to emotions. And most all the early nonverbalists, like Birdwhistell, Hall, Goffman, etc. attempted to define the place of nonverbal behaviour in human (social) life.
The early history of the science of language has not yet been worked out. We do have an inkling of the monumental Scholastic achievements in the theory of verbal signs, whereas the development of Byzantine linguistic thought remains nearly unknown. (Jakobson 1971 [1955]: 369)
The situation is similar in the nonverbal sphere. We have Theophrastus, Cicero, Bulwer, etc. but almost nothing from Byzantine philosophy. For the longest time I've had an inkling that Arab scholarship, for example, contains lengthy treatises on nonverbal communication and behaviour, but they have yet to come to light in the West.
The grammarian treatise inversely resorts to the twofold birth of the Son of God in order to explain the fundamental verbal dichotomy, the seemingly antinomical relationship between the speech event and the pre-existent language design (parole and langue, in the terms of Ferdinand de Saussure, who promoted this conceptual dyad in modern linguistics). For the author of the Colloquy, it is not a mere illustrative analogy but one of the striking manifestations of the godlike nature of man: "Imitating the twofold birth of the Son of God, our word, too, has its twofold birth. For first, our word is born of the soul, through some incomprehensible birth, and abides unknown near teh soul, and then, born again through a second, fleshy birth, it emerges from the lips and reveals itself by the voice to the hearing." (Jakobson 1971 [1955]: 370)
Just as the anonymous author of the Colloquy imputes "the pre-existent language design" to some that "abides unknown near the soul", Bulwer believed that "the soul's motive faculty cause the mobile spirits to fly to their appropriate organs" (Green & Tassinary 2002: 280).
The analogy of "the ray from the sun" as an illustration of the generation of the Logos is used by the Church Fathers with some qualification (cf. PCF, I, pp. 300-301). (Jakobson 1971 [1955]: 373ff)
This is exactly the stuff I'm trying to discover more about. In the holy texts, there's a lot of sun ray symbolism involving light, eyes, and soul.

Jakobson, Roman 1981 [1932]. Is the film in decline? In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings III: Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 732-739.

We are witnessing the rise of a new art. It is growing by leaps and bounds, detaching itself from the influence of the older arts and even beginning to influence them itself. It creates its own norms, its own laws, and then confidently rejects them. It is becoming a powerful instrument of propaganda and education, a daily and omnipresent social fact; in this respect it is leaving all the other arts behind. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 732)
The same is currently happening with the internet and computer games, which are influencing every sphere of art (from e-mail exchanges in literature to CGI in films). But mainly the last sentence is valuable for its wording. One aspect of my "historical" or "historiological" study of nonverbal communication as a cultural phenomenon involves it becoming "a daily and omnipresent social fact" as well as an instrument of propaganda and education. The latter point has yielded a neat empirical example: recently "emotion cards" (Tunnete Kaardid) came on sale in Estonia. They are supposed to develop your child's social skills and enrich emotion-related vocabulary, but their actual didactic value is very dubious (which would make them an interesting object of study).
We can say about the same person: "hunchback", "big-nose", or "big-nosed hunchback". In all three cases the object of our talk is identical, whereas the signs are different. Likewise, in a film we can shoot such a person from behind - his hump will be seen, then en face - his nose will be shown, or in profile, so that both will be seen. In these thre shots we have three things functioning as signs of the same object. Now let us demonstrate the synechdochic nature of language by referring to our ugly fellow simply as "the hump", or "the nose". The analogous method in cinema: the camera sees only the hump, or only the nose. Pars pro toto is a fundamental method of filmic conversion of things into signs. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 733)
At first glance this made the variant/invariant distinction pop into my mind, but what Jakobson is really after is the metaphorical/metonymical nature of cinematic art.
The theoretician who disclaims cinema as art perceives the film as a mere moving photograph; he does not notice the montage, nor does he want to acknowledge the fact that here a specific sign system is involved - this is the attitude of a reader of poetry for whom the words of the poem make no sense. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 734)
This is the plight of the semiotician - drawing attention to the fact that there are sign systems involved in stuff that seems "natural", as opposed to "cultural". The last sentence about "a reader of poetry" likens it to someone who doesn't understand the poetic function and reads poetry from the standpoint of other functions (referential, for example).
They have hurriedly assumed that the features of today's films are the only ones that cinema will devise. They forget that the first of the sound films cannot be compared with the last of the silent ones. The sound film is absorbed today with new technical achievements (it's good enough if one can hear well..., etc.) and preoccupied with the search for new forms to utilize them. We are in a period analogous to that of the prewar silent film, whereas the most recent silent films have already achieved a standard, have created classical works, and perhaps just this realization of a classical canon contained its own demise and the necessity of a fundamental reform. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 734)
In the first instance there's a critique of the "fallacy of finality" (Colin Cherry, as well as Mamardašvili and Pjatigorski) but in relation with cinematic art. And in the second instance we have an example of Tynjanov's theory of literary evolution applied on cinematic art. Silent films have achieved a standard, produced classical works and now we need to deform the norms and make things strange. // Though Tynjanov did write about film, too.
As long as the film was silent, its only material was the visual object; today it is both visual and the auditory objects. Human behavior is the material of the theater. Speech in film is a special kind of auditory object, along with the buzzing of a fly or the babbling of a brook, the clamor of machines, and so forth. Speech on the stage is simply one of the manifestations of human behavior. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 735)
Of course it comes as no surprise that Jakobson was happy about speech appearing in film. His object of study "conquered" another domain.
Silence in the cinema is valued as an actual absence of sounds; consequently, it becomes an auditory object, just like speech, like a cough, or street noise. In a sound film we perceive silence as a sign of real silence. It is sufficient to recall how the classroom grows quiet in a scene of L. Vančura's film Before Graduation (1932). In cinema it is not silence but music that announces the exclusion of the auditory object. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 735)
There's a modern example of this that I enjoy. The youtube reviewer YourMovieSucksDOTorg points out how in the pilot of The Walking Dead, when a little girl turns around and avails her zombie face to the protagonist, there is no music or jump-scare noise, but exactly silence that gives it the frightening effect. One could probably say that the absence of artificial sounds at that moment made the zombie girl more real.
It is highly probable that precisely the lack of a burdensome tradition facilitates experimentation. Real virtue arises from necessity. (Jakobson 1981 [1932]: 738)
More truth than I can take in at the moment.

Jakobson, Roman 1981 [1960]. Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings III: Poetry of Grammar and Grammar of Poetry. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 87-97.

Later, in his preliminary notes to the planned Foundations of Language, Sapir outlined the fundamental types of referents which serve as "a natural basis for parts of speech", namely existents and their linguistic expression, the noun; occurrents expressed by the verb; and finally modes of existence and occurrence represented in language by the adjective and theadverb respectively. (Jakobson 1981 [1960]: 88)
There are quite a few such typologies out there, but at this moment existents/occurrents and their respective modes seem actually useful. E.g. Tom (existent) frowns (occurrent), though I can't say if Tom's displeasure is an existent or a mode.
Particular attention has been paid by scholars to the biblical parallelismus membrorum rooted in the archaic Canaanite tradition and to the pervasive, continuous role of parallelism in Chinese verses and poetic prose. A similar pattern proves to underlie the oral poetry of Finno-Ugric, Turkic, and Mongolian peoples. (Jakobson 1981 [1960]: 90)
Here's an example of a biblical parallelismus membrorum: "A wise son gladdens his father but a foolish son grieves his mother." (Proverbs 10:1). Finno-Ugric oral poetry is mentioned and indeed it seems that Estonian "proverbs exhibit the same feature. E.g. "Hallpead austa, kulupead kummarda.", "Hea naine võib halvast mehest asja saada, aga hea meest halvast naisest naljalt mitte." and "Hundid söönud, lambad terved.".
However immense the difference is between Thomism and the ideology of the anonymous author of Zisskiana cantio, the shape of this song totally satisfies the artistic request of Thomas Aquinas: "the senses delight in things duly proportioned as in something akin to them; for, the sense, too, is a kind of reason as is every cognitive power". (Jakobson 1981 [1960]: 96)
Sounds like an early manifestation of the idea that there is something like a "visceral understanding" of art. // On second thought this reminds me of Brentano, who was apparently into Scholasticism (that's where he revivide intention from). Namely, Brentano does view the senses as a kind of reason - so much so that even emotions are imputed to involve judgment.

Jakobson, Roman 1971 [1962a]. Anthony's contribution to linguistic theory. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings II: Word and Language. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 284-288.

As Vygotsky's profound investigation of inner speech has disclosed, the so-called egocentric talk of children is an "intermediate link between overt and inner speech". We have been taught that "egocentric speech is inner speech in its functions; it is speech directed inward." In a child's development, speech proves to be "interiorized psychologically before it is interiorized physically". Anthony adds a new and apposite angle to Vygotsky's discovery: the transition from overt to inner speech displays a graduated order. (Jakobson 1971 [1962a]: 285)
Here the "directed inward" part is significant, as other forms of autocommunication are more about directing inner experience outwards. E.g. all talking to oneself is not egocentric. There is also the case of the self being an "unintended" addressee, of the sender becoming a "cryptanalyst" of his own messages, even of messages directed towards another addressee. Presently there is no typology of autocommunication to speak of, but such a thing can be imagined.
Children's egocentric talk has no concern for any outside addressee, but it tolerates, not seldom even favors the presence of a listener, whereas their pre-sleep speech does imply the absence of human hearers. It is meant as a genuine soliloquy, the speaker's privatissimum, ready to be cut off as soon as he realizes that his solitude has been broken. Hence the verbal activities of the child in his crib bring us a step nearer to true inner speech, namely, to its most hidden and perplexing variety, the speech of dreams. The soliloquies of Anthony falling asleep give us a suggestive insight into the speech of our dreams, which in the whole of our verbal behavior plays a no less vital part than do dreams themselves in our mental life. (Jakobson 1971 [1962a]: 285)
So Jakobson even ventured to the "weird" domain of linguistic study of dreams? (E.g. Read's 1969. "Dreamed Words".) Though Louise Pound opened this domain already in 1934 ("On the Linguistics of Dreams").
According to Ruth Weir's subtle observations, the lowering of the cognitive, referential function in Anthony's soliloquies brings to the fore all the other language functions. A typical property of children's speech is an intimate interlacement of two functions - the metalingual and the poetic one - which in adult language are quite separate. Although the pivotal role which in language learning belongs to the acquisition of metalanguage is well-known, the predominantly metalingual concern of the somnolent child with language itself comes as a great surprise. (Jakobson 1971 [1962a]: 286)
The metalingual function of a stream such as "Not the yellow blanket - The white... It's not black - It's yellow..." is abundantly clear: Anthony is trying to find a word for the color he has in mind. But where is the poetic function at play in this?
Grammatical alterations and purely phonemic minimal pairl are purposely strung together: /tɔk/ - /tʋk/ - /bæk/ - tʋk/ - /tek/ - bʋk/ ... /wat/ - /nat/ - /naɪt. Light and like or likes and lights attract each other Back and wet are blended in the portmanteau word Babette. Thus in the child's pre-sleep speech, lexical, morphological, and phonemic sets appear to be projected from the paradigmatic axis into the syntagmatic one. (Jakobson 1971 [1962a]: 287)
Ok, here's the poetic function. Like in his "Linguistics and poetics" a year earlier, Jakobson is demonstrating the poetic function mainly on the basis of aesthetic similarities in speech sounds, e.g. how the words the light/like and likes/lights "attract each other" (much like "I like Ike").
Anthony's bedtime play with language as a condensed summary of his day imperatively calls for further investigation of how usual such self-educational linguistic games are among dozing children. Yet however prominent the metalingual function is in Ruth Weir's records, she is right in considering the copresence of other functions. (Jakobson 1971 [1962a]: 287-288)
"A condensed summary" is an implicit reference to Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams, where dreams are viewed as "condensed memory traces" of daytime activities. I believe this hypnagogic metalingualizing is not specific to dozing children. I believe this because I, too, tend to play around with words before falling asleep, but I mostly just imagine myself writing - I don't feel the need to articulate my experimentations. That is, the ends are much the same but the means are a bit more developed.

Jakobson, Roman 1971 [1962b]. Efforts toward a means-ends model of language in interwar continental linguistics. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings II: Word and Language. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 522-526.

The title of this paper defines this common drift as aiming toward a means-ends model of language. These efforts proceed from a universally recognized view of language as a tool of communication. Statements about language as a tool, instrument, vehicle, etc., can be found in any textbook, but, strange as it seems, the apparently self-evident interference from this truism was not drawn in the linguistic tradition of the last century. (Jakobson 1971 [1962b]: 523)
In some areas, "language" and "communication" were even viewed as synonymous - a trait that ultimately spawned "body language" from "full-body language (communication)". But the impulse to view language as primarily a communication tool sometimes lead to an aversion, a need to deform the canon, and gave way to Langer's treatment of language as an artistic tool. This strand had existed for a long while (Schleiermacher comes to mind), but now it was recognized and developed further.
One of the most intricate networks, the strikingly hierarchic make-up of the paradigmatic pattern, was subjected to penetrating scrutiny, particularly in the research of Kuryłowicz. The consistent concern with meaning, a true field of the entire trend, and the systematic analysis of grammatical meanings with a rigorous distinction between general and contextual meanings demanded a similar exploration of lexical meanings, and the imperative need to treat vocabulary as "a complex system of words mutually coordinated and opposed to each other" was comprehensively advocated by Trubetzkoy at the First Congress of Slavists. (Jakobson 1971 [1962b]: 525)
Another aspect to which Jakobson imputes a hierarchy. The distinction between "general" and "contextual" meanings sounds like Marty's auto- and synsemantic distinction.
The sense for the multifarious character of language saved the Prague group from an oversimplified, bluntly unitarian view; language was seen as a system of systems and especially Mathesius' paper on intralingual coexistence of distinct phonemic patterns opened new outlooks. (Jakobson 1971 [1962b]: 525)
Just like for the Tartu-Moscow school of semiotics culture was seen as a system of systems.
Finally, the third and most far-reachinf form of comparison, the typological one, leading to the introduction of universals into the model of language, was sketched in the '20's as the final goal of that international trend in linguistics which was christened by the Prague Circle in 1929 "functional and structural analysis".
If that label, however, is avoided in our survey, this is only because during the last decades the terms "structure" and "function" have become the most equivocal and stereotyped words in the science of language. In particular, the homonyms function 'role, task' - viewed from the means-ends angle and function as correspondence between two mathematical variables, are often used promiscuously, and as Lalande's Philosophical Dictionary justly warns, "there is here a source of confusion which makes certain pages of our time scarcely intelligible." (Jakobson 1971 [1962b]: 526)
The case indeed confusing with the notion of function. Lotman, for example, would seem to talk of "role" and "task", were it not for the fact that at some point he actually sets up a "representation" function between two variables, image and object.

Jakobson, Roman 1971 [1964/1965]. An example of migratory terms and institutional models On the 50th anniversary of the Moscow Linguistic Circle. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings II: Word and Language. The Hague; Paris: Mouton, 527-538.

In connection with language study the term kružok entered into Hungarian, when in the late nineteenth century a noted German philologist in Budapest, Joseph Budenz, took Russian lessons from an employee of Russia's general consulate. The instructor called the regular, informal tavern meetings with his pupil and the latter's colleagues their kružok; weekly gatherings for drinks and free scientific discussions became customary among the Budapest linguists under the old label Kruzsok. Both this custom and its name have survived until the present and have been adopted by Hungarian scholars of other fields, as well. (Jakobson 1971 [1964/1965]: 529)
I wonder if Tyler Bennett's "Semiotic Thursdays" constitute something like a kružok.
[...] and finally the theoretical counterpart of teh turbulent Futurist displays, Opojaz, the Petersburg Society (Obščestvo) for the Study of Poetic Language, which arose at a time when youth played a particularly independent, creative, combative and frequently decisive role. (Jakobson 1971 [1964/1965]: 529)
I also wonder if we're not living at a similar time and not realizing it?
The Moscow Circle maintained close relations with Opojaz; there were, however, notable differences in the guiding interests of the two associations: MLK placed much stronger emphasis on linguistics and was inclined to interpret poetry as language in its aesthetic function. In vehement disputes on linguistic essentials - phenomenology of language and the strictly empiricist approach; the place of phonetics and semantics in the science of language; the problem of the Humboldtian internal form; criteria for the delimitation of poetic and ordinary language; or finally the relation between language and culture - the Moscow team lost its former unity of purpose and principles. New institutions, like for instance the State Academy for the Study of Arts (GAXN), attracted the most active workers of MLK, and in the summer of 1924, during the tenth pear of its existence, the Moscow kružok was formally dissolved. (Jakobson 1971 [1964/1965]: 532)
"Poetry as language in its aesthetic function" is what Jakobson is known for; phenomenology of language definitely and the Humboldtian internal form maybe are related to Marty; and the relation between language and culture is the main connection with Tartu-Moscow semiotics of culture.
The fatal role in the nefarious ravage of the kroužek was played by the professional slanderer Petr Sgall. His amazingly illiterate and base denunciations published in the Prague journal Tvorba of 1951 and forced upon the periodical of the Circle, Slovo a slovenost, defamed PLK for propounding structural linguistics. The latter, according to Sgall, "has served only to prolong the domination of the bourgeoisie and to justify this domination". He condemned the Circle also for the "mendacious" recognition of a difference between the poetic and referential functions in language and for succumbing to the vicious influences of Saussure, Husserl, and Carnap. Yet, according to Sgall, "the genuine evil spirit of our linguistics is Roman Jakobson, who deceived and deluded many of our excellent linguists. [...] The role of Jakobson as the chief pillar of structuralism in linguistics [...] is one of the refined ideological weapons used for the disorientation of the outstanding representative intellectuals of the left and for a struggle against the proletarian Weltanschauung." This "cosmopolitan enemy who endeavored to devastate our science by his pseudo-theories" naturally found "his last refude in the den of American imperialists." The unscrupulous prosecutor finished by calling for the crushing rout of "cosmopolitanism in our linguistics" and by summoning the former structuralists to repent of their blunders and "by means of criticism and self-criticism to eradicate both the false theories of structuralism and their survivals". This coerced "self-criticism" resulted in the disastrous self-destruction of the kroužek, a ruin which caused real bewilderment among the linguists of the West and East. (Jakobson 1971 [1964/1965]: 535ff)
This is comedy gold. I especially like that Jakobson's "recognition of a difference between the poetic and referential functions in language" is mendacious (not telling the truth, lying).

Jakobson, Roman 1985 [1974]. The twentieth century in European and American linguistics Movements and continuity. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings VII: Contributions to Comparative Mythology. Studies in Linguistics and Philology, 1972-1982. Preface by Linda R. Waugh. Berlin; New York; Amsterdam: Mouton, 265-278.

Trubetzkoy had a very high opinion of the American linguist whom he called "my Leipzig comrade". This was Leonard Bloomfield, who in 1913 shared a bench with Trubetzkoy and Lucien Tesnière at Leskien's and Brugmann's lectures. Bloomfield praised "Trubetzkoy's excellent article on vowel systems" of 1929 and devoted his sagacious 1939 study on "Menomini Morphophonemics" to N. S. Trubetzkoy's memory. (Jakobson 1985 [1974]: 266)
A happy coincidence, like Sebeok and Birdwhistell being dorm roommates.
The Prague Circle had very close ties with Edward Sapir. When we held the International Phonological Conference of 1930, Sapir, though unable to attend, kept up a lively correspondence with Trubetzkoy about his Prague assembly and the development of the inquiry into linguistic, especially phonological, structure.. Almost nothing remains of this exchange. Those of Sapir's messages which had not been seized by the Gestapo were lost when the Viennese home of Trubetzkoy's widow was demolished by an air raid. In their turn, Trubetzkoy's letters perished when Sapir, at the end of his life, destroyed his entire epistolary archive. (Jakobson 1985 [1974]: 266)
Destruction of letter exchanges, manuscripts and notes is of course sad (I recently learned of de Courtenay's similar loss in St. Petersburg). But this does explain why Jakobson had such a fond predisposition towards quoting Sapir (and Boas) at every chance.
Boas strongly believed in the international character of linguistics and of any genuine science and would never have agreed with an obstinate demand for a regional confinement of scientific theories and research. He professed that any analogy to a struggle for national interests in politics and economics was superficial and far-fetched. In the science of language there are no patented discoveries and no problems of intertribal or interpersonal competition, of regulations for imported and exported merchandise or dogma. The greater and closer the cooperation between linguists of the world, the vaster are the vistas of our science. Not only in the universe of languages, but also throughout the world of convergent development of bilateral diffusion. (Jakobson 1985 [1974]: 268)
Thus he ought to have said not that "there is no private property in language" but that "there is no private property in linguistics" (on any science for that matter).
From the very outset of his concern for phonemic problems, Bloomfield confronted the difference between the discreteness of phonemes and "the actual continuum of speech sound" and Saussure's opposition of langue/parole, and he found "explicit formulations" in Baudouin de Courtenay's Versuch einer Theorie der phonetischen Alternationen of 1895. From this book he also got the fruitful concept and term morpheme, coined by Daudouin. Upon the same label, likewise borrowed from Baudouin's terminology, French linguistic literature mistakenly imposed the meaning "affix". (Jakobson 1985 [1974]: 272)
I did not know that Jan Baudouin de Courtenay coined the morpheme. Apparently he did so in 1880.
In this paper of 1925 Weiss envisions a "compound multicellular type of organization" produced by language behavior, and he assigns to written language the rise of an even "more effective sensorimotor interchangeability between the living and the dead". Bloomfield's wide-scale outline of 1939, Linguistic Aspects of Science, with its numerous references to Weiss, picks up and develops this image: "Language bridges the gap between the individual nervous systems. Much as single cells are combined in a many-celled animal, separate persons are combined in a speech community. We may speak here, without metaphor, of a social organism." (Jakobson 1985 [1974]: 274)
Finding organicism in unexpected places.

Jakobson, Roman 1985 [1975]. The grammatical buildup of child language. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings VII: Contributions to Comparative Mythology. Studies in Linguistics and Philology, 1972-1982. Preface by Linda R. Waugh. Berlin; New York; Amsterdam: Mouton, 141-147.

To be sure, important new observations have been made concerning children's beginning attempts and efforts to learn to communicate at pre-verbal age, and at the treshold of verbal exchange with their teacher, in particular their mother. (Jakobson 1985 [1975]: 141)
By way of a memo to myself I'll note that the term "nonverbal" very likely originated from either "pre-verbal" (e.g. Cooley 1909: 66). JSTOR destifies that the term "pre-verbal" was used only four times before 1910 - all of them in book reviews and one reviewing Cooley.

Jakobson, Roman 1985 [1979a]. Einstein and the science of language. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings VII: Contributions to Comparative Mythology. Studies in Linguistics and Philology, 1972-1982. Preface by Linda R. Waugh. Berlin; New York; Amsterdam: Mouton, 254-264.

In accordance with Hadamard's proposal, I sketched, and he inserted into his study, my brief linguistic outlook of those days on the puzzle of wordless deliberations:
Signs are a necessary support of thought. For socialized thought (stage of communication) and for the thought which is being socialized (stage of formulation), the most usual system of signs is language properly called; but internal thought, especially when creative, willingly uses other systems of signs which are more flexible, less standardized than language and leave more liberty, more dynamism to creative thought. Amongst all these signs or symbols, one must distinguish between conventional signs, borrowed from social convention and, on the other hand, personal signs which, in their turn, can be subdivided into constant signs, belonging to general habits, to the individual pattern of the person considered and into episodical signs, which are established ad hoc and only participate in a single creative act.
At the very moment of sending his book to the printer, Hadamard received, as he states in a footnote, "a letter from Professor Einsten containing information of capital interest". This late "Testimonial" was adjoined to the volume as its second appendix. Both of us subjected the "circumstantial and thorough" answers of Einstein's message to a close examination and confronted his introspection wit hthe aforementioned linguistic summary. The innermost and nearly wordless character of Einstein's creative process was described in his replies to the questions about the kinds of signs that emerge in his mind when absorbed in scientific discoveries: "The words or the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanism of thought." (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 255)
The similarity of Jacques Hadamard's "personal signs" to Charles Morris's "personal signs" is so similar and put forth at such an opportune time that is is quite likely that there is a direct influence between them. Hadamard's An Essay on the Psychology of Invention in the Mathematical Field is available on archive.org - check out pp. 96-97. // I was intending to check out the topic of "private signs" at a later date, perhaps when again discussing autocommunication, but as luck would have it, I found a possible source for Hadamard's distinction today! (while reading something that quoted Marty quoting Brentano.) In his overview of Brentano's view of the mind, Kevin Mulligan discloses the arguments of Geiger and Scheler that "affective phenomena, both episodic and enduring non-dispositional sentiments, may be unconscious" (Mulligan 2004: 90; italics added). I won't know the exact origin of Hadamard's distinction until I can (have the time to) read the relevant passages in his book, but this find does suggest a possible line of thought he was immersed in at the time.
As Einstein testified in the letter appended to Hadamard's book, "certain signs and more or less clear images" (italics added), the two kinds of "psychical entities which seem to serve as elements in thought", can be - already in this preverbal period - deliberately reiterated and reordered and thus become a personal repertory of significative devices. The question of joint repreduction and recombination indicates that the identification and rearrangement of components, or, in other terms, the complementary ideas of invariance and contextual variability, actually obsessed Einstein with regard to a prelinguistic, individually semiotic stage. For him, as he states in his "Testimonial", it was evident that the "desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts in the emotional basis of this rather vague play wit hthe above mentioned elements". (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 256)
All of this sounds so very similar. Perhaps Jakobson himself has discussed this in less explicit terms? In any case, it's nice to know where Morris might have derived his concept of personal signs.
Three subjective factors - desire, emotion, and "pure intuition" - underlie Einstein's conception of creative thought as selective, assertive, and combinatory play. He repeated reference to "this rather vague play" is connected with his profession de foi launched at the conclusion of the same testimonial: "what you call full consciousness is a limit case which can never be fully accomplished." (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 256)
If possible, compare these to Marty's emotive, assertive and suggestive (and moreover, and again if possible, to Brentano's concomitant terms).
Similar evidence appears in "Conversations with Albert Einstein", recorded by the physicist R. S. Shankland: "When I read, I hear the words. Writing is different, and I communicate this way very badly." It is notable that in Einstein's case, as elucidated by Hadamard, the primordial element of usual thought, "before the words intervene", seem to be of the visual, as well as of the muscular, apparently gestigulatory type. (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 257)
Personally, I consider articulating difficult and communicate rather by writing. But I have the luxury of a keyboard and a Dvorak keyboard at that.
Winteler's dissertation, issued in 1876, displays a challenging methodological novelty and acuity in his approach to the sound system of languages, with his fundamental distinction between its "accidental features" (variations) and "essential properties" (invariants). But the author's theoretical fundamentals were received among academic bureaucrats with biased distrust. Hence the courageous seeker was doomed to sacrifice his far-sighted scientific plans for the gloomy lot of a lifelong, first active but early retired schoolmaster. (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 258)
It would be nice to find out whether Jakobson was influenced by Winteler himself, or if he discovered Winteler later and saw a parallel to his thinking. Mainly I'd like to know where the variant/invariant distinction originates from so that I could exclude Marty's "constructive inner form" and "outer linguistic form" from imputed origins.
In "Einstein's Theory of Relativity" as conceived by the philosopher Ernst Cassirer, "there exists only the unity of certain functional relations, whic hare differently designated according to the system of references in which we express them". (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 262)
Apparently in 1923 there appeared a book by Ernst Cassirer titled Substance and Function & Einstein's Theory of Relativity. (Also available on archive.org)
The appreciation of the relativity of the form of thought attempted by two of the most original American linguists, Edward Sapir (1884-1939) and Benjamin Lee Whorf (1897-1941), and in particular the former's direct reference to "the physical relativity of Einstein", offer another significant example of a daring linguistic initiative that purposely bordered upon Einstein's conceptual framework and upon the direct, albeit restrictive, question posed in Einstein's broadcast of 1941: "to what extent the same language meant the same mentality". Any impact necessarily implies not only similarities but also instructive cleavages of opinion. (Jakobson 1985 [1979a]: 262)
Relevant for the semiotic analysis of mentality. Whorf's position is known, Sapir's I'll get to, hopefully, but I'm curious as to how Mamardašvili and Pjatigorsky (would) answer this question.

Jakobson, Roman 1985 [1979c]. From Aljagrov's letters. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings VII: Contributions to Comparative Mythology. Studies in Linguistics and Philology, 1972-1982. Preface by Linda R. Waugh. Berlin; New York; Amsterdam: Mouton, 358-361.

These included, in particular, his attempts at supraconscious poetry (zaumnaja poèzija) built of invented words. In literary history it was apparently the first endeavor to construct in this way longer, connected texts alien in their sounds and sequences to those of the given language and free of any inserted traces of verbal motivation such as references to dreams, zoological sound emissions, or machine noises. (Jakobson 1985 [1979c]: 357)
First explanation of zaum I meet in my readings.
Remember, you said that poetry is any sequence of letters in direct or inverted order, and called this a demonic or 'underground' point of view. (Jakobson 1985 [1979c]: 360)

Jakobson, Roman 1985 [1979b]. Toward the history of the Moscow Linguistic Circle. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings VII: Contributions to Comparative Mythology. Studies in Linguistics and Philology, 1972-1982. Preface by Linda R. Waugh. Berlin; New York; Amsterdam: Mouton, 279-282.

According to an early report of the first secretary of the MLC, G. O. Vinokur, the activity of the Circle consisted "both in adducing new materials and in the interpretation of old ones yet from a new standpoint". The work in the Circle had a laboratory character and ready-made academic lectures played a smaller role than debates where methods and approches were developed in a joint collective exchange of opinions. An important place in the Circle's activities was given to the summer expeditions of its members according to programs coordinated beforehand. (Jakobson 1985 [1979b]: 280)
This is what seminars would ideally consist of: not only revisiting old ideas but building new ones on top of the old.
The foundations of a phenomenology of language in the arresting treatment by Husserl's disciple G. G. Špet left a notable imprint on the development of MCL in its final period and provoked heated arguments about the place and limits of empiricism and about the role of semantics in the science of language. The probelms of "inner form" launched by Humboldt and the criteria of delimiting poetic and unusual language were among the points at issue. (Jakobson 1985 [1979b]: 281)
And now I have to check out Gustav Shpet.


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