RJ SW Phonological Studies

Jakobson, Roman 1928a. The Concept of the Sound Law and the Teleological Criterion. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 1-2.

The basic assumption of the neo-grammarian linguistic methodology, that of the sound law operating without exceptions in a given language at a given time, has, up till recently, repeatedly met with negative criticism, since the neo-grammarians have not been able to give a theoretical foundation for this working hypothesis. The revision of the traditional tenet leads to the recognition of the fact that language (and in particular its sound system) cannot be analyzed without taking into account the purpose which that system serves. Once this amendment is made, the objections to the doctrine of the sound law lose their validity. (Jakobson 1928a: 1)

The purpose which the system of signs we call language serves is communication and mutual understanding?

The idea of a sound law operating without exceptions in a given language must be limited to a linguistic system characterized by one and the same function, i.e., to linguistic entities which are functionally equivalent. (Jakobson 1928a: 1)

These linguistic systems being, as it later famously turns out, six-fold; encompassing six distinct but overlapping functions of language, characteristic of six different "linguistic systems". Issue can be taken with the identification of function with system in this regard because the functions do overlap, i.e. emotive and poetic uses are similar just like referential and metalinguistic, though to varying degrees.

The neo-grammarians did not succeed in explaining the social character of sound change (why a speech community accepts and sanctions individual slips), but this problem too finds its solution once it is posed teleologically. The same requirement applies if one attributes the decisive role in sound changes to the succession of generations. (Jakobson 1928a: 1)

Signs grow, as the later Peircean Jakobson would say. In this cycle, this is for all intents and purposes the first mention of the permanent dynamic synchrony, one of Jakobson's favorite topics.

The overlapping between territorially, socially or functionally distinct linguistic patterns can be fully comprehended only from a teleological point of view, since every transition from one system to another necessarily bears a linguistic function. (Jakobson 1928a: 1)

The "function" here is a bit ambiguous, but this ambiguity is done away with when one considers the Slavistic examples of words changing their sound shape ever so slightly to accommodate national characteristics, for example (e.g. between Czech and Russian languages; Jakobson was notably also proficient in Polish).

The first attempts at a goal-directed interpretation of sound changes, in particular their explanation with reference to the law of the economy of energy or to fashion and esthetic factors, are one-sided and greatly over-simplify the problem. It is impossible to deal with the sounds of a given language without regard to its phonological system, i.e., to the repertory of meaningful distinctions among the acoustico-motor images proper to the given language. (Jakobson 1928a: 1)

Already we see peripheral examples of the later linguistic functions: economy of energy pertaining to the phatic (in the Gardinerian sense of automatization), fashion to national characteristics (for all intents and purposes, social, just like Malinowski's "gossip"), and "esthetic" is a no-brainer. Definition of the phonological system could be generalized as a definition of language.

Saussure's teaching that sound changes are destructive factors, fortuitous and blind, limits the active role of the speech community to sensing each given stage of deviations from the customary linguistic pattern as an orderly system. (Jakobson 1928a: 2)

Changes can also be productive and positive. The shift from phatic communion to phatic function is one theoretical example that fits the case: not completely fortuitous and blind but could be conceptualized as either destructive (because forsakes the religious and social connotations) or productive (beause more suitable for elaborating the social aspects of communication theory).

Jakobson, Roman 1931d. Phonemic Notes on Standard Slovak. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 221-230.

The close linguistic, cultural, political and ethnographic communality and interconnection of the Czechs and Slovaks is beyond all doubt. If, however, we wish to arrive at a thoroughgoing characterization of a whole, we must pay attention not only to its unifying features, but also to the peculiarities of each of its individual parts. (Jakobson 1931d: 221)

Phraseology for discussing the national characteristic trope in phatics: the shared and individualistic features of linguistic communities.

I am here concerned solely with the standard language, that is with those elements which have been incorporated into the normative textbooks and codified as a set of valid orthoepic prescriptions. I leave aside such questions as how large is the number of educated individuals who consistently observe the literary norm and how widespread are the deviations therefrom, i.e., the dialectal variants of the standard language. (Jakobson 1931d: 221)

Permanent dynamic synchrony: one and the same language contains, minimally, the written language of literature and the spoken language of everyday life.

As Trávníček (O cěském jazyce, Prague, 1924) pointed out, the isoglosses of the dialectal phonetic features found on Czechoslovak linguistic territory do not, for the most part, coincide with the boundary between the domains of Czech and Slovak. (Jakobson 1931d: 221)

Isogloss (or heterogloss) is "a line on a dialect map marking the boundary between linguistic features."

Despite the identity of their phonetic implementation, certain phonemes of the two languages differ in their phonological content, a fact resulting from differences in the relations between diverse phonemes within the over-all structure of the given phonemic system. There are, then, considerable similarities in the phonetic inventories of Standard Slovak and Standard Czech, and at the same time salient differences between their phonemic systems. (Jakobson 1931d: 222)

Same with American and British English.

Since the position before a vowel of the same word is the position of maximum phonemic differentiation of Slovak obstruents, the labio-dental voiced consonant is among the combinatory (contextual) variants of the phoneme v, the fundamental one, while the non-syllabic u is a secondary variant. (Jakobson 1931d: 223)

An early instance of "context" demonstrating a unique peculiarity in Jakobson's use, namely pertaining to the strictly verbal context, the axis of combination (in de Saussurean lingo).

The existence of neutralizing neighborhoods has far-reaching consequences for a phonemic correlation, and especially in those cases in which the correlation is used both in autonomous alternations (e.g. mrazu - mráz; pustit' - púšt'a't) and in combinatory alternations, those in which one of the two alternants is conditioned by the context (eg. slová - čisla). (Jakobson 1931d: 226)

A terminological distinction that can be transported into the sphere of semantics, delineating autonomous references (to extralinguistic objects) and combinatory references (to the lingustic context, i.e. previous or, even possibly, successive messages).

In Slovak g is much more at home: in addition to the German words containing g, Slovak has absorbed many words of this type from Hungarian and Polish and a number of these words have already lost any tinge of foreignness. (Jakobson 1931d: 226)

Phraseology for discussing the emigration of set phrases, i.e. French greetings in some Arabic nations.

If two souds distinguish word meanings we assign them to different phonemes. Two sounds distinguish meanings if they appear in the same environment (e.g., Czech dám - nám, ráda - rána) or if a given sequence of the two phonemes is opposed to the reversed sequence (e.g., Czech bedna - Benda). (Jakobson 1931d: 227)

Phraseology for the non-word-meaning-distinguishing functions of intonational contours.

The glottal catch, which in Standard Czech can serve to delimit words within syntactic groups or constituents of compounds, is in Standard Slovak merely one of the phonetic devices used to indicate the boundaries of speech measures (Satztakte); cf. V. Vážný, Sbornik Matice Slovenskej, I, p. 39 ff. (Jakobson 1931d: 229)

Also known as a glottal stop. May have something to do with marking other sorts of speech boundaries.

Jakobson, Roman 1932a. Phoneme and Phonology. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 231-233.

Phoneme is the basic concept of phonology. By this term we designate a set of those concurrent sound properties which are used in a given language to distinguish words of unlike meaning. In speech, diverse sounds can implement one and the same phoneme. This variety depends on the style of speech and/or on the phonetic environment in which that phoneme occurs. The difference between such sounds is determined by external factors and hence cannot serve to distinguish word meanings. Such sounds are labeled variants of the given phoneme. (Jakobson 1932a: 231)

In other words, code and context.

Phonology is a part of linguistics dealing with regard to the functions which they fulfill in a given language, whereas phonetics has for its task the investigation of speech sounds from a purely physiological, physical and psycho-acoustical point of view. (Jakobson 1932a: 231)

Necessary distinction, almost akin to the one between semiotic and physical realities.

The basic linguistic function of sound differences is the distinction of meanings. A sound difference which, in a given language, can be used to distinguish meanings is viewed as a phonological opposition. The inventory of phonological oppositions proper to a given language constitutes its phonological system. (Jakobson 1932a: 231)

Also necessary. Hopefully we'lll come to distinguish phonological oppositions that also discriminate between intra- and extralinguistic references (distinguishing between words and distinguishing intended meanings).

While word phonology deals with those sound distinctions which are able to differentiate word meanings, syntactical phonology studies phonic differences capable of delimiting a word within a word group or of differentiating the meanings of word groups as wholes. (Jakobson 1932a: 232)

Ding-ding-ding. Intonational contours or contoural features pertain to syntactical phonology.

The phonological approach has proven to be particularly fruitful in respect to poetic language, standard language or writing, whereas a complete failure marked the attempts of older linguistics to treat these domains. (Jakobson 1932a: 232)

That's probably because poetic language foregrounds sound-symbolism.

Jakobson, Roman 1937c. On Ancient Greek Prosody. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 262-271.

It was precisely the danger of forgetting the old accentual system which necessitated its codification. One could learn to reproduce certain accentual models, alien to some speakers and archaic for others, but the principles underlying these models remained more or less elusive to the linguistic thinking of the imitators; just for this reason, as Vendryes correctly notes, these grammarians displayed an extraordinary predilection for petty, mechanical rules. They did not see the pivotal phonemic laws behind the extrinsic phonetic facts. (Jakobson 1937c: 262)

Another parallel on the theoretical plane: Malinowski's phatic communion was formulated in a metalanguage that soon disappeared, making much of its content cryptic for modern readers. Jakobson, on the other hand, tied it with modern communication theory, which is why the phatic function is so popular today. The disruption, i.e. Jakobson probably never having read Malinowski directly, is responsible for its continued survival in linguistics despite anthropologists letting it go with the rest of Malinowski's work soon after his diary was translated. The shift has, no doubt, put more emphasis on "petty, mechanical" aspects germane to Gardiner's interpretation (e.g. the mechanization of speech).

One must also point out that the hypothesis cited above creates an artificial barrier between the prosodic structure of the Greek language and the basic principles of Greek metrics [...] (Jakobson 1937c: 163)

Phraseological finding: there is an artificial barrier between PC and PF, in broad strokes one pertaining to speech and the other pertaining to language.

Both the possibility of the realization of the above-mentioned opposition as well as the choice of the heightened (accented) mora in a two-morae vowel are determined by external conditions. (Jakobson 1937c: 264)

Determined extralinguistically?

Yet an inefficient classificatory criterion was used by the Alexandrine grammarians who divided the words into barytona and oxytona, according to their final mora. Hence arose a characteristic confusion: the enklinomena easily fell into the category of barytona under those syntactical conditions in which their final mora remained unaccented. (Jakobson 1937c: 265)

Might have something to do with the rising semicadence?

Let us sum up the essential differences between the two accentual systems. All three phonological functions of the word accent are present in the Attic system. In the first place, the accent is used to divide the speech stream into words: both the obligatory accent of the tonic words and the potential accent of the enklinomena form the phonological peak of the word (χύριος). The second function of the accent is the delimitation of words. [|] If a given syllable bears the accent, the word to which it pertains can contain not more than two subsequent syllables; if a given syllable has the acute accent, the immediately gollowing syllable cannot belong to another independent word; if the given syllable bears the circumflex accent, this syllable must contain the pre-final mora of the word. The third role played by the accent is the differentiation of words. This distinctive function is fulfilled by the opposition of the regressive accent to the progressive accent and of the presence of either of these accents to their absence within the word. (Jakobson 1937c: 168-169)

We'll be returning to these functions in The Sound Shape of Language, where they are elaborated on a quasi-Peircean basis sense-discrimination and mere otherness. Here they are "the distinctive and the delimitative functions of the accent" (ibid. 169).

In reality, however, each of these types is endowed with its own phonological individuality: different is their functional load, different the degree to which they signalize the independent or dependent status of the word, and different their relation to the quantitative pattern. (Jakobson 1937c: 170)

Dependent and independent generally parallel the distinction betwen autonomous and combinatory.

Jakobson, Roman 1949f. Comparative Slavic Phonology. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 413-417.

Common isoglosses testify a close and prolonged neighborhood with Germanic, Iranian, probably Thraco-Phrygian, and foremost with Baltic, which is tied to Slavic by significant innovations both in vocabulary and in grammatical and phonemic, especially prosodic, features. Old loan-words from Iranian pertain mostly to spiritual, and those from Germanic to material culture. Contact with Altaic and Finno-Ugric languages seems to be confined to the late stage of Protoslavic and has left but scanty vestiges in its vocabulary. (Jakobson 1949f: 413)

Protoslavic or "Primitive Slavic" summarized. Latvian and Lithuanian are relatives with similar innovations, and words are borrowed from Iranian and Germanic.

The difference between Russian and Ukrainian will come later, in the twelfth-thirteenth century, when the tendency to use a common phonemic pattern still persists, but the etymological distribution of these phonemes is already somewhat different [...] (Jakobson 1949f: 415)

This is just good to know. Though the reasons for Putin's statements to about Ukraine still remain cryptic.

Jakobson, Roman 1949d. On the Identification of Phonemic Entities. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 418-425.

"Both phonematic, grammatical and lexical elements - the cited paper insists - are at the same time inner and outer phenomena." As a matter of fact, this twofold nature of any phonemic entity, uniting it with all the superordinated linguistic constituents, was ascertained at the very outset of phonemic inquiry. Beginning in the early eighties, Baudouin de Courtenay repeatedly states that from the semantic point of view "the utterance breaks up into sentences, sentences into significative words, words into morphological components or morphemes and morphemes into phonemes". For "a morpheme is divisible only into components which are of the same nature as itself: they, too, must be significative". Thus, a dissociation of the morpheme into physical or physiological elements, i.e. into sounds, would be, according to Baudouin de Courtenay, "an unjustified and paralogical jump in division". (Jakobson 1949d: 418)

The hierarchy of linguistic structure. Every utterance can be broken down into finer and finer pieces down to distinctive features or binary oppositions.

Overcoming the one-track mind of the neogrammarian bias, F. de Saussure pointed out that beside the axis of successiveness, linguistics, as any science dealing with values does, must also tackle the other coordinate - the axis of simultaneity "concerning relations between coexistent things"; whereas for the traditional approach there was no science of language outside questions of succession. The neogrammarians were entirely taken up with the axis of successiveness, as if it were possible to comprehend the sequence without seizing upon the consecutive modes of being. (Jakobson 1949d: 419)

The axis of successiveness concerns the syntax, the following of one word after another. The axis of simultaneity (or, later, the axis of selection; opposed to the axis of combination), deals with the semantic values of linguistic variants. So the famous definition of the poetic function, as projecting from the axis of simultaneity (the equally possible means of expression) to the axis of successiveness amounts to little more than selecting the words to place one after another.

Long ago the neurologists distinguished two kinds of complexes (Simultankomplexe und Sukzessivkomplexe in K. Kleist's terminology) which underlie our speech-ability, which are differently located in the brain and which may be respectively compared with the chords and sequences in music. (Jakobson 1949d: 420)

Why long ago? At the time of this writing Karl Kleist was still working at the Goethe University Frankfurt.

The whole pattern is based on eight dichotomous properties; among them six inherent (or qualitative) features concerning the axis of simultaneity only (vocality, nasality, saturation, gravity, continuousness, and voicing), and two prosodic features involving also the axis of successiveness (length, and high-tone). (Jakobson 1949d: 421)

The feature I'm interested is categorized as a prosodic (hence quantitative, as opposed to qualitative?) feature.

In dissociating the phoneme into distinctive features we isolate the ultimate linguistic constituents charged with semiotic value. When determining their specific essence, do we slip from the linguistic level into physical or physiological criteria and sin thereby against the epigraph of this paper? One must recognize that language obviously pertains to the domain of culture and that even the minutest element charged with semiotic value is a manifestation of culture, for instance, the "functional role" played by the opposition of voiced and unvoiced consonants in Serbocroation. (Jakobson 1949d: 422)

It's not that difficult to see why Jakobson's functional linguistics became the basis for Lotman's semiotics of culture, with language as the primary modelling system of culture.

Since the sound matter of language is a matter organized and formed to serve as a semiotic instrument, not only the significative function of the distinctive features but even their phonic essence is a cultural artifact. (Jakobson 1949d: 423)

By analogy, is the body a semiotic instrument of nonverbal communication?It sounds like sound matter is a semiotic instrument in the very strict sense in which Charles Morris means the sign-vehicle.

Phonemic entities draw on the gross sound matter but readjust this extrinsic stuff, dissecting and classifying it along their own lines. Above all, the procedure is one of selection. Among a multitude of acoustico-motor possibilities, there is a restricted number upon which language chooses to set a value. (Jakobson 1949d: 423)

Hence the axis of simultaneity becomes the axis of selection.

Where nature presents nothing but an indefinite number of contingent varieties, the intervention of culture extracts pairs of opposite terms. The gross sound matter knows no oppositions. It is human thought, conscious or unconscious, which draws from this sound matter the binary oppositions for their phonemic use. (Jakobson 1949d: 423)

Cue the structural anthropology of Claude Lévi-Strauss. Notably, Jakobson and Lévi-Strauss were in contact at New York around this time.

The dichotomy of distinctive features is, in essence, a logical operation, one of the primary logical operations of a child and - if we pass from ontogeny to phylogeny - of mankind. The question arises as to whether it is justifiable to admit a kind of logical operation which escapes the attention of the speech-community and which unfolds outside our consciousness. But it is sufficient to recall Ribot's focal thesis: "the reasoning, whether conscious, subconscious or unconscious, remains identical, save in differing degrees of clarity of representation." (Jakobson 1949d: 424)

Footnote unsurprisingly recommends Edward Sapir's "The Unconscious Patterning of Behavior in Society" (online), in an interesting book, Dummer, E. S. (ed.), The Unconscious: A Symposium (1929; New York: Knopf).

Jakobson, Roman and John Lotz 1949e. Notes on the French Phonemic Pattern. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 426-434.

Thus, the difference between velar and palatal is irrelevant in French phonemics; the contextual variant of the saturation feature is more retracted in combination with interception (see below) than with nasality, and is most advanced (palato-alveolar) in combination with continuousness. (Jakobson & Lotz 1949e: 428)

Did you mean: continuity?

The opposition Continuous/Intercepted is incompatible with the Nasal feature and implies the Consonantal feature. (Jakobson & Lotz 1949e: 431)

A distinction that can be used elsewhere with reference to the stream of communication.

(Jakobson & Lotz 1949e: 432)

Diagram originally used to illustrate the French phonemic pattern. Could be reformulated to suit another six-fold scheme.

Jakobson, Roman 1951a. For the Correct Presentation of Phonemic Problems. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 435-442.

According to the review, we regard the phoneme as "an indivisible unit", while recent American work would show that it is more fruitful to recognize the phoneme as "a bundle of significant sound-features". Did the reviewer overlook Soffietti's reference to the basic point of my tenet, which he sums up as follows: "The phoneme is not the smallest linguistic unit; it is a combination of definite, objective [...] characteristics which are sounded simultaneously. In this respect it can be compared to a musical chord" (p. 4). (Jakobson 1951a: 435)

Objections against one's straw-man representation.

By an exact measurement of the resonating cavities and of the phonation we can predict the acoustic effect; but this predictability is not reversible: The same acoustic effect can be obtained by different means, e.g. by human articulatory organs, by a parakeet, by the electrical "Voder" of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, or by Haskins' hand-drawn sound tracks. (Jakobson 1951a: 438)

A mention of talking birds. Not very deep but nonetheless usable, pointing out that talking birds can produce speech.

Adhering to the definition of the phoneme as a "significant unit", the reviewer, if logically consistent, would realize that not the articulatory prerequisite, but the acoustic stimulus carries all the information in the message from the sender to the receiver. (Jakobson 1951a: 438)

Does it, though? What about nonverbal concomitants? Does a disembodied voice carry all the information of a spoken message?

Hall's ironical question "what is a dark sound?" was long ago answered by psychologists, for instance, by W. Köhler, who revealed the foundation of such synesthetic responses in phenomenal experience. (Jakobson 1951a: 439)

Interesting. Will keep this in mind should I pick up Wolfgang Köhler, a German psychologist born in Tallinn (then Reval).

Abroad some obscurants had repeatedly accused Trubetzkoy and [|] myself of a rootless cosmopolitan doctrine and terminology; but I did not expect that a student of mine would be censured by a linguist in this country for employing deeply-rooted and well-defined international terms and concepts, "e.g. the term opposition where American-English uses contrast". Opposition is a venerable logical notion with a definitely interdisciplinary usage. (Jakobson 1951a: 441-442)

I am not in the least bit surprised by this accusation because terminologically it does get very complex, e.g. the difficulty of reading his analysis of "Cats". Opposition or "antithesis" was employed already by Charles Darwin (1873).

If sometimes, both here and abroad, this concept is rechristened contrast, such a renaming creates a number of ambiguities. As C. K. Ogden, who devoted to opposition a stimulating book of linguistic and psychological analysis, reasonably states, "the desirability of treating contrast in conjunction with opposition is questionable". The term contrast is usually employed to denote a juxtaposition and comparison of two simultaneous or successive stimuli, contiguous in perception. These two stimuli are mutually influenced in the direction of increasing their apparent difference; but the existence of one does not imply the existence of the other. On the contrary, two opposites necessarily imply each other if, in the given span of perception, only one of them is present. (Jakobson 1951a: 442)

I had wondered why I. A. Richards had written several notable books but Ogden only translated one German work into English. The book meant here is Opposition: A Linguistic and Psychological Analysis (1967; Bloomington: Indiana University Press).

Jakobson, Roman 1952a. On Slavic Diphthongs Ending in a Liquid. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 443-448.

[...] then the Common slavic ryba 'fish' obtains a semantically warrantable etymology. We agree with A. Vaillant (RES IK, 123-5) that the rapproachement of this word with OHG ruppa 'catepillar' is arbitrary and that the second syllable -ba is to be identified with the well-known Balto-Slavic suffic of abstract nouns. But this interpretation of the first syllable as the verbal ry- 'dig' is far-fetched, while the root *ūr- 'water, swamp, pond', attested in all Baltic languages (see R. Trautmann, Baltisch-Slavisches Wörterbuch, 335) finds here its full motivation: 'aquatics', perhaps originally an abstract taboo substitute in use among fishermen. (Jakobson 1952a: 443ff)

Ur is the Basque word for 'water'.

When the evolution of all three diphthongs is envisaged in the light of Slavic historical phonemics, the problem loses much of its previous intricacy even though some puzzling details, in particular the relation of the treatment of these groups to the pitch accent and especially to the so-called "neo-acute", still await closer and more exhaustive analysis. (Jakobson 1952a: 446)

Phraseology for how I feel about finding Malinowski's primary source for phatic communion.

Jakobson, Roman; E. Colin Cherry and Morris Halle 1953b. Toward the Logical Description of Languages in their Phonemic Aspect. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 449-463.

Words are the maximum units that are expected to be entirely provided by the code. We must determine the minimum set of such features that the listener needs in [|] order to recognize and distinguish all except homonymic morphemes, without help from context or situation. Once this set is determined, all other phonetic differences among morphemes or words of the given language can be shown to be predictable and therefore redundant. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 449-450)

This understanding of the code might have profound implication for how the term is employed in cultural semiotics; code, after all, must be limited and have "maximum units".

We leave aside here sound features that perform other functions, namely configurational features, which signal the division of the utterance into grammatical units of different degrees of complexity, and expressive (or more precisely physiognomic) features, which signal solely the emotional attitude of the speaker. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 451)

Contoural features, by this token, would be configurational, though the mainstream interpretation of the function would veer towards expressive.

Physiognomic features are illustrated by the different ways of pronouncing the word for "yes" (simply [d'a] when unemphatic) according to the degree and kind of emphasis. These features convey subsidiary information similar to that which is carried by such graphic equivalents of configurational features as spaces or punctuation marks, and such equivalents of physiognomic features as underlining or italicizing. The redundant features, on the other hand, operate in conjunction with the distinctive features, thereby facilitating the selective process on the part of the listener and lessening the burden on his attention. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 451)

Physiognomic features here stand for paralanguage (nonverbal speech qualities). Reduntant features, promamly the "umm"-s and the like, appear as another strain of thinking about PF (Stenström and others come to mind).

Three sets of counts are of interest: (A) those that take into consideration both the word boundaries (symbolized by a space) and the junctures [|] between the immediate constituents of compound words (symbolized by a hyphen); (B) those that are concerned only with the word boundaries; and (C) those that deal neither with the word boundaries nor with the junctures, but break up a sequence only at the points of compulsory pause. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 451-452)

Another iteration of the typology of linguistic contours (met previously somewhere above).

We shall now apply this process to the list of forty-two Russian phonemes listed in Table A. But first, let us consider a purely hypothetical description of any one phoneme out of the forty-two, as though these were not phonemes but merely objects without linguistic significance. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 453)

Mere otherness.

The term "redundancy" should not be taken to imply wastefulness; it is a property of speech (and, in fact, of every system of communication) which serves a most useful purpose. In particular, it helps the hearer to resolve uncertainties introduced by distortion of the signal or by disturbing noise. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 455)

Good point, and amply demonstrable on the type of speech widely considered redundant.

So far we have been regarding the phonemes of the language as independent. But the natural process of speech consists not merely of choosing a chain of independent phonemes; at the very least it consists of a succession of choices, where each choice is in part conditioned by the preceding phoneme chosen. It may be a truer description of the natural process of speech to say that phonemes are chosen in groups. Thus, the simple analysis that we have made so far must be regarded as a somewhat artificial though quite efficient description of the language in its simplest aspect. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 459)

Natural speech is not za/um.

This property provides another form of "redundancy" in the language, a quality which is of great importance in aural recognition, as when we follow a conversation in a noisy room. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 461)

Reportedly Google just revealed an AI that can do just that. Recording this for a possible theoretical work on interference.

Finally, among the problems which remain to be investigated are those transitional probabilities which operate backwards, i.e. which depend not on earlier but on subsequent events, or, in linguistic terms, not on the progressive but on the regressive action of phonemes in a sequence. The comparison of these two sets of statistics is very important, because it is obvious that for different types of sequences the predictability is greater in one direction that in the other. Analysis of such data will provide the most solid basis for setting up a statistical model of the syllable as a recurrent link in the chain of speech. (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 463)

Just realized that mathematical information theory focuses on subsequent events whereas natual speech depends on what has been said as much as what is going to be said. Might equally have implications for Culture and Explosion type philosophizing.

In R. Carnap's terminology, the occurrences of phonemes, having been studied in the Russian word-events, are to be investigated in the word-designs, just as we have here studied the occurrences of distinctive features in the phoneme-designs; cf. Introduction to semantics, 3 (Cambridge, Mass., 1946). Charles S. Peirce, the founder of modern semiotic, would say that besides the application of the phonemic legisigns within the lexical sinsigns, such an application must be scrutinized again within lexical legisigns; cf. his Collected papers, 2.245-7 (Cambridge, Mass., 1932). (Jakobson, Cherry & Halle 1953b: 463ff)

Digging into Peirce as early as 1953.

Jakobson, Roman and Morris Halle 1956a. Phonology and Phonetics. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 464-504.

Correspondingly, two levels of language and linguistic analysis are to be kept apart: on the one hand, the semantic level, involving both simple and complex meaningful units from the morpheme to the utterance and discourse and, on the other hand, the feature level, concerned with simple and complex units which serve merely to differentiate, cement and partition, or bring into relief the manifold meaningful units. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 465)

The same distinction as above in several places, becoming ever-increasingly specific, up to the one in The Sound Shape of Language (sense-discrination vs mere otherness).

Message and code. If the listener receives a message in a language he knows, he correlates it with the code at hand and this code includes all the distinctive features to be manipulated, all tehir admissible combinations into bundles of concurrent features termed phonemes, and all the rules of concatenating phonemes into sequences - briefly, all the [|] distinctive vehicles serving primarily to differentiate morphemes and whole words. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 465-466)

The receiver has the code, and has to decipher the message (the cryptanalytic model of communication where there is a disparity between who holds the code and who holds the message).

Ellipsis and explicitness. [...] Usually, however, the context and the situation permit us to disregard a high percentage of the features, phonemes, and sequences in the incoming message without jeopardizing its comprehension. The probability of occurrence in the spoken chain varies for different features and likewise for each feature in different contexts. For this reason it is possible from a part of the sequence to predict with greater or lesser accuracy the succeeding features, to reconstruct the preceding ones, and finally to infer from some features in a bundle the other concurrent features. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 466)

Redundancy. The situation is somewhat similar to that of reading: one can skim until something meriting closer attention passes the gaze.

But, once the necessity arises, speech that is elliptic on the semantic or feature level, is readily translated by the utterer itno an explicit form which, if needed, is apprehended by the listener in all its explicitness. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 466)


Configurative features signal the division of the utterance into grammatical units of different degrees of complexity, particularly into sentences and words, either by singling out these units and indicating their hierarchy (culminative features) or by delimiting and integrating them (demarcative features). (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 469)

Getting more specific.

Expressive features (or emphatics) put the relative emphasis on different parts of the utterance or on different utterances and suggest the emotional attitude of the utterer. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 469)

This became the emotive function.

Possession of a single specific designation unites the redundant features with the configuratie and expressive features and separates them from the distinctive features. Whatever the distinctive feature, its denotation is always the same: any such feature signals that the morpheme to which it pertains is not the same as a morpheme having another feature in the corresponding place. A phoneme, as Sapir remarked, "has no singleness of reference." All phonemes designate nothing but mere otherness. This lack of individual designation separates the distinctive features, and their combinations into phonemes, from all other linguistic units. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 470)

This is from Sapir's "Sound patterns in language", in Selected Writings, p. 34.

The code of features used by the listener does not exhaust the information he receives from the sounds of the incoming message. From its sound shape he extracts clues to identify the sender. By correlating the speaker's code with his own code of features, the listener may infer the origin, educational status, and social environment of the sender. Natural sound properties allow the identification of the sex, age, and psycho-physiological type of the sender, and, finally, the recognition of the acquaintance. Some ways toward the exploration of these physiognomic [|] indices were indicated in Sievers' Schallanalyse, but their systematic study still remains on the agenda. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 470-471)

This is an apt overview of the functions carried by the opener.

In the oldest of these approaches, going back to Baudouin de Courtenay and still surviving, the phoneme is a sound imagined or intended, opposed to the emitted sound as a "psychophonetic" phenomenon to the "physiophonetic" fact. It is the mental equivalent of an exteriorized sound. The unity of the phoneme, as compared with the variety of its implementations, is seen as a discrepancy between the internal impetus aiming at the same pronounciation and the involuntary vacillation in the fulfillment. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 471)

Not inner speech per se but the inner image of sounds to be produced. I.e. thinking without accent but speaking with one.

Whether studying phonemes or contextual variants ("allophones"), it is always, as the logician would say, the "sign-design" and not the "sign-event" that we define. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 472)

Conflating Carnap and Peirce into a singular amorphous logician?

The fictionalist view. According to the opinion most effectively launched by Twaddell in 1935, but latently tinging the writings of various other authors, phonemes are abstractional, fictional units. As long as this means nothing more than that any scientific concept s a fictional construct, such a philosophical attitude cannot affect phonemic analysis. Phoneme, in this case, is a fiction, in the same way as morpheme, word, sentence, language, etc. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 472)

This is pure gold. This view can definitely be advanced with regard to PC.

Second, features may be masked by abnormal, distorting conditions of sound production (whispering, shouting, singing, stammering), transmission (distance, filtering, noise), or perception (auditory fatigue). (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 473)

Conditions that may plague any type of communication in some form.

Third, Third, a distinctive feature is a relational property: the "minimum same" of a feature in its combination with various other concurrent or successive features lies in the essentially identical relation between the two opposite alternatives. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 473)

Same is said of signs generally.

The focusing of selective operations upon relational properties is typical not only of human, but even of animal behavior. In W. Koehler's experiment, chickens were trained to pick grain from a gray field and to leave the grain untouched on the adjacent darker field; when the pair of fields, gray and dark, was later replaced by a pair, gray and light, the chickens looking for their food left the gray field for its lighter counterpart. Thus "the chicken transfers its response to the relatively brighter area." It is first of all by means of relational rules [|] that the listener, guided by the linguistic code, apprehends the message. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 473-474)

Sounds very much like the experiments described by von Uexküll, with the same conclusion, that organisms selectively perceive signs that are relevant for their vital activities.

There is a cardinal difference between phonemes and graphic units. Each letter carries a specific designation - in a phonemic orthography, it usually designates one of the phonemes or a certain limited series of phonemes, whereas phonemes designate nothing but mere otherness (cf. 2.3). Graphic signs that serve to interpret phonemes or other linguistic units stand for these units, as the logician would say. This difference has far-reaching consequences for the cardinally dissimilar patterning of letters and phonemes. Letters never fully reproduce the different distinctive features on which the phonemic pattern is based and unfailingly disregard the structural relationship of these features. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 475)

Useful illustration. Letters have a singleness of reference whereas phonemes do not.

The native or naturalized user of a language, when trained linguistically, is aware of the functions performed by its different sound elements and may utilize this knowledge to resolve the sound shape into its manifold information-bearing elements. He will employ various "grammatical prerequisites to phonemic analysis" as aids to the extraction of distinctive, configurative, and expressive features. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 476)

Cannot help but notice that these features do not number sixfold and lack the semantic aspect.

Under such conditions, the extraction of redundant features is, in many instances, laborious but feasible. More difficult is the isolation of the expressive features, but, even in this regard, the record may yield some information, given the difference between the markedly discrete, oppositional character of distinctive features and the more continuous "grading gamut" characterizing most of the expressive features. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 476)

The point being that it is more difficult to elucidate the "redundant" features of emotives, which are not strictly either/or but have a continuous grading.

A still less manageable problem would be the cryptanalytical discrimination between distinctive and configurative features, especially word border signals. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 476)

Are there similarly utterance border signals?

Of these three phases the middle one is the nuclear factor of the syllable while the other two are marginal. Both marginal factors - initiation and termination - are effected either by the mere action of the chest muscles or by speech sounds, usually consonants. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 478)

A terminological addition to Laver's marginal phases, openings (initiation) and closings (termination). Evidently, the central phase is "nuclear" (the nucleus of conversation). "Nuclear phasis" sounds about right when discussing the Parkerian illustration where only trivialities are exchanged.

The second variety of the quantity features, the contact feature, is based on a different distribution of duration between the vowel and the subsequent consonant: in the case of the so-called close contact (scharf geschnittener Akzent), the vowel is abridged in favor of the following, arresting consonant, whereas at the open contact (schwach geschnitterer Akzent), the vowel displays its full extent before the consonant starts. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 480)

Possible terminological alternatives for Granevetter's strong and weak ties.

The comparative description of the phonemic systems of manifold languages and their confrontation with the order of phonemic acquisition by infants learning to speak, as well as with the gradual dismantling of language and of its phonemic pattern in aphasia, furnishes us with important insights into the interrelation and classification of the distinctive features. The linguistic, especially phonemic progress of the child and the regression of the aphasic obey the same laws of implication. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 482)

Phraseology I've recorded in German. His point is that both loss and acquisition of language follow the same order or pattern, though in different directions.

Stages of the speech event. Each of the distinctive features has been defined above both on the acoustical and on the articulatory level. The communication network, however, comprises a higher number of stages. The initial stage in any speech event - the intention of the sender - is not yet open to a percise analysis. The same may be said of the nerve impulses sent from the brain to the effector organs. The work of these organs - the motor stage of the speech event - is at present quite accessible to observation, especially with the progress of X-rays and other tools that reveal the activities of such highly important parts of the speech apparatus as the pharyngeal, laryngeal and sublaryngeal mechanisms. The status of the message between the bodily pathways of the speaker and listener, the transmitted vibrations in the air, is being ever more adequately mastered, owing especially to the rapid advances made in modern acoustics. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 487)

Following Ruesch & Bateson (1951), the communication network also includes intrapersonal networks. This means that the illustration of a communication chain given in "Language in Operation" (1964e) could be elaborated further.

As to the transformation of speech components by the nervous system, we can, for the time being, at best only hazzard what psychophysiologists have referred to as "a mere speculative assertion". (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 487)

Still, "what is the microphysiology of semeion?" (Count 1969: 80-81)

To a psychologist, each attribute is defined by a different reaction to a stimulus on the part of a listener under a particular set (Aufgabe). In application to speech sounds this set is determined by the decoding attitude of the listener to the message received and to each of its constituents. The listener correlates the incoming message with the code common to himself and the speaker. Thus, the role of sound components and combinations in the linguistic pattern is implicit in the perception of speech sounds. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 488)

Invaluable for deciphering the "set" in "Linguistics and Poetics" (1960d). By "psychologist" he most likely means Bühler.

The closer we are in our investigation to the destination of the message, the more accurately can we gauge the information conveyed by the sound-chain. This determines the operational hierarchy of levels in their decreasing pertinence: perceptual, aural, acoustic, and motor (the latter carrying no direct information to the receiver except for the sporadic help of lip-reading). The auditory experience is the only aspect of the encoded message actually shared by the sender and the receiver since the speaker normally hears himself. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 488)

Not sharing perceptual data is a given. But no shared code?

In the process of communication there is no single-valued inference from a succeeding to a preceding stage. With each successive stage, the selectivity increases; some data of an antecedent stage are irrelevant for any subsequent stage, and each item of the latter stage may be a function of several variables from the former stage. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 488)

Counterpose this to the psychologists' focus on intention. If you put focus on reception and interpretation, the message yields a stream of overlapping frames.

Ordinarily child language begins, and the aphasic dissolution of language preceding its complete loss ends, with what psychopathologists have termed the "labial stage". In this phase speakers are capable only of one type of utterance, which is usually transcribed as /pa/. [...] The choice between /pa/ and /a/ and/or /pa/ and /ap/ may become the first carrier of meaning in the very early stages of child language. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 491)

The significance of "mama" and "papa".

(Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 493)

Another way to divide the functional triangle. The k for kanal is accidental, but suits. The complex u, a, and i are semantic-conceptual (code, reference, message), while p, k, and t are physical (sender, channel, medium). The channel is physical in the sense in which it is "medium" in Ruesch's communication theory.

If there is a difference between the linguistic pattern of two speech communities, intelocution between members of the two communities demands an adjustment of the listener to the speaker and/or of the speaker to the listener. This adjustment may involve all the aspects of language or only a few of them. Sometimes the phonemic code is the only one affected. Both the listener's and on the speaker's side there are different degrees of this adjustment process, neatly called code switching by the communication engineers. The receiver, trying to understand the sender, and/or the sender, in trying to make himself understood, concentrate their attention on the common core of their codes. A higher degree of adjustment appears in the effort to overcome the phonemic differences by switching rules, which increase the intelligibility of the message for its addressee. Having found these clues, the interlocutor may try to use them not only as a listener, but also in a more active manner, by adapting his own utterances to the pattern of his addressee. [↩] The phonemic adjustment may cover the whole lexical stock, or the imitation of the neighbor's phonemic code may be confined to a certain set of words directly borrowed from the neighbor or at least particularly stamped by his use of them. Whatever the adjustments are, they help the speaker to increase the radius of communication, and if often practiced, they are likely to enter into his everyday language. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 501)

It feels like I've gone over this very paragraph numerous times in my search for details for the "radius of communication", which has broad implications for PF. I've particularly taken a liking to "common core", though not in the realm of code as much an conversation topics (cf. "relatability", in recent literature).

The same statement, tutatis mutandis, can be made about the time factor in language, particularly in the phonemic field. Any sound change, at its proceeding, is a synchronic fact. Both the start and the finish of a change coexist for a certain length of time. If the change differentiates the younger generation from the older, there is always some intercourse between the two generations, and the receiver belonging to one is accustomed to recode messages from a sender of the other. Furthermore, the initial and the final stage may co-occur in the use of one and the same generation as two stylistic levels: on the one hand, a more conservative and solemn, on the other, a more fashionable way of talking. Thus, synchronic analysis must encompass linguistic changes, and, vice versa, linguistic changes may be comprehended only in the light of synchronic analysis. (Jakobson & Halle 1956a: 502)

The least technical explanation of permanent dynamic synchrony at my disposal.

Jakobson, Roman 1957a. Mufaxxama: the 'Emphatic' Phonemes in Arabic. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 510-522.

The phoneme /ṇ/ is an even rarer occurrence than /ṃ/: it appears only in a few Arabic dialects, e.g. in Damascus, where Ferguson (1954) notes such a pair as /na:yek/ 'having sexual intercourse' - 'ṇa:yek/ 'your (f.) flute'. The presence of /ṇ/ in an Arabic dialect implies the presence of /ṃ/ in the phonemic pattern, where /ṃ/ may occur without /ṇ/. This relation too is easily interpretable. (Jakobson 1957a: 514)

Playing the flute, huh.

Jakobson, Roman 1958a. Typological Studies and their Contribution to Historical Comparative Linguistics. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 523-532.

Speakers Compare Languages. As the anthropologist reminds us, one of the most significant things about communication between men is that we have no people so primitive that they are not able to say, "Those people have a different language [...] I speak it or I don't speak it; I hear it or I don't hear it." As Margaret Mead adds, people conceive language "as the learnable aspect of other people's behavior". (Jakobson 1958a: 523)

A nice complement to Malinowski's observations about the recognition of members of one's own speech-community.

Talk in the speech community about alien language, like any speech about speech, is labeled "metalanguage" by the logicians. As I tried to show in my 1956 address to the Linguistic Society of America, metalanguage, like object-language, is a part of our verbal behavior and thus a linguistic problem. (Jakobson 1958a: 523)

That report is familiar enough. The definition of metalanguage here is much broader than the regular explaning the meanings of words.

We speak about the grammatical and phonological system of language, about the laws of its structure, the interdependence of its parts, and of the parts and the whole. To comprehend this system, a mere listing of its components is insufficient. As the syntagmatic aspect of language presents a complex hierarchy of immediate and mediate constituents, so also the arrangement of linguistic entities in their paradigmatic aspect is in turn characterized by a multiplex stratification. A typological comparison of various systems must take into account this hierarchy. Any intervention of arbitrariness, any deviation from the given and detectable order renders the typological classification abortive. The principle of ordered division takes ever deeper roots both in grammar and phonology, and we obtain clear evidence of the progress achieved while rereading the Cours of Ferdinand de Saussure, the first man who fully understood the significance of the system concept for linguistics, and who, at the same time, failed to see the compulsory order in such a distinctly hierarchic system as the pattern of grammatical cases. (Jakobson 1958a: 525)

Clearly these are not the functions outlined later. It makes me wonder if the psychologist's perspective taken in "Linguistics and poetics" didn't carry a different purpose, perhaps something to do with the original report on the linguistic problem of metalanguage? PF is, after all, a metalinguistic perspective in a sense. Or am I wrong and these grammatical and phonological systems are summarized by his six functions?

A linguistic typology based on arbitrarily selected traits cannot yield satisfactory results, any more than would a classification of the animal kingdom which instead of the productive division into vertebrates and non-vertebrates, mamals and birds, etc., used the criterion of skin color and on this basis grouped together, for example, white people and light pigs. (Jakobson 1958a: 525)

With regard to the aforementioned dilemma, this is just painful. Are the unsatisfactory results of those who follow Jakobson's scheme of linguistic functions ultimately attributable to the faulty base of the typology (taking the psychological, intentionalist, perspective)?

We have avoided the current label "synchronic typology". If, for the modern physicist, the "peculiar interplay of quasi-permanent identity and random temporal change appears to be a most fundamental feature of nature", likewise in language "statics" and "synchrony" do not coincide. Any change originally belongs to linguistic synchrony: both the old and new variety co-occur at the same time in the same speech community as more archaic and more fashionable respectively, one pertaining to the more explicit and the other to the more elliptic style, i.e., two subcodes of the same convertible code. Each subcode in itself is for the given moment a stationary system governed by rigid structural laws, while the interplay of these partial systems exhibits the flexible dynamic laws of transition from one such system to another. (Jakobson 1958a: 528)

Another iteration of permanent dynamic synchrony, one of his favourite topics. Here I'm wondering how this could be applied in conjunction with his six functions and whether there are examples of shifts from practical to non-practical speech, for example. In a broader sense there are demonstrable shifts from elliptic to explicit styles in analogy with Mehrabian's immediacy and Hall's contact/non-contact cultures.

At present, however, we are equally far from the naive empiricism which dreamt about a phonographic record of IE sounds and from its opposite, an agnostic reluctance to inquire into the patterning of the IE phonemes and a timid reduction of their system to a mere numerical catalogue. (Jakobson 1958a: 529)

Phraseological findings for dissecting the theoretical problems at hand.

Permanence, statics in time, becomes a pertinent problem of diachronic linguistics, while dynamics, the interplay of subcodes within the whole of a language, grows into a crucial question of linguistic synchrony. (Jakobson 1958a: 530)

Here's the crux of the above-mentioned dilemma: do the six functions of language pertain to six different subcodes of language?

Like any linguistic discipline, the typology of languages looks for the invariant in a variation. The number of grammatical categories or distinctive features and their combinations is restricted, and languages are confined to a limited number of structural (grammatical or phonemic) types. (Jakobson 1958a: 530)

Likewise: do the functions correspond to structural types? Or is the typology published in a compendium on stylistics germane only to the latter field?

The empirical data accumulated by linguistics are sufficient to refute the surmise of a Proto-Gilyak pattern presenting neither stops nor spirants, but only affricates which later split into stops and spirants. The glottogonic hypothesis claiming the priority of clicks is contradicted by experience: most of the world's languages lack clicks, while non-click consonants are universal; according to P. de v. Pienaar's observations, clicks are the last phonemes acquired by Bantu and Hottentot children, and in Hottentot fairy tales, the speech of animals, usually represented as baby talk, is devoid of clicks. (Jakobson 1958a: 531)

Interesting example of the pattern of acquisition.

Jakobson, Roman 1959a. A New Outline of Russian Phonology. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 533-537.

The former way corresponds to the output of the verbal message and the latter to its input. For the speaker the meaningful units from sentence to morpheme take precedence over sound signals, whereas the listener follows the opposite way - from sound signals to the grammatical units which they carry. (Jakobson 1959a: 533)

A variation of the cryptanalytical model.

The hierarchy of constituents into which the sentence is divided by various sound devices is touched upon in different passages of the book, but perhaps a more systematic discussion of this question could be attempted. the division of the sentence into "speech measures" (rečevye takty) hardly suffices. Between these two units there is the so-called "breath group" ("member", "colon"). [...] The prosodic treatment of auxiliary words (conjunction, autonomous predispositions, and modal particles to which the imperative desinential components must also be added) deserves an overall examination, with particular attention to the difference between stress-less conjunction like [de] and those words with word-stress like [no], where both the unreduced /o/ and the possibility of an emphatic pause after the conjunction disclose its stressed character. (Jakobson 1959a: 535)

Not sure yet if this touches upon the semi-cadence I am interested in or not. Recording it just in case.

Without pedantry or sectarian normalization, he takes into account the appreciable oscillations in standard Russian pronounciation and pays attention to the coexistent sound patterns of this language, in particular to the specific foreign word stratum with its peculiar phonemic rules. The mutable and manifold structure of the sound system finds and will find in Avanesov an ever more judicious investigator. (Jakobson 1959a: 537)

Phraseology for discussing the PDS in sound laws pertaining to common loanwords and expressions.

Jakobson, Roman 1960a. Why "Mama" and "Papa"?. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 438-545.

He asks whether linguists - "now that the facts are established" - could not "clarify the theoretical principles that account for them". (Jakobson 1960a: 538)

I can already venture a guess that the explanation veers towards the pattern of acquisition.

"The child," H. Werner (1940) stressed, "grows out of his child's world into an alien world of adults. His behavior is the result of an interaction between these two worlds." One could add that likewise the behavior of adults with regard to the child they nurse and educate is a result of an interaction between both worlds. In particular, the so-called "baby talk" used by the grownups when speaking with infants is a kind of pidgin, a typical mixed language, where the addressers try to adjust themselves to the verbal habits of their addressees and to establish a common code suitable for both interlocutors in a child-adult dialogue. The socialized and conventionalized lexical coinages of this baby talk, known under the name of nursery forms, are deliberately adapted to the infant's phonemic pattern and to the usual make-up of his early words; and, on the other hand, they tend to superimpose upon the child a sharper delimitation and higher stability of word meaning. (Jakobson 1960a: 538)

Exactly the line of reasoning taken by Otto Jespersen in his Language: Its Nature, Development and Origin (1922), where a whole chapter, next to a chapter on pidgin, is dedicated to this problem. He calls such pidgins "minimum languages", which is an invaluable term for my future purposes (particularly with regard to the so-called "non-standard" speakers).

Very frequently these intimate, emotional, childishly tinged words coexist with more general and abstract, exclusively adult paternal terms. (Jakobson 1960a: 539)

Weston La Barre's take on phatic communication immediate comes to mind.

As an instructive example of the difference in formal and functional properties between the two levels of parental appellations, the use of Bulgarian words mama and majka "mother" may be cited. (Jakobson 1960a: 539)

Phraseology for discussing the differentia of functional subcodes.

Nursery coinages are accepted for a wider circulation in the child-ault verbal intercourse only if they meet the infant's linguistic requirements and thus follow the general line of any interlanguage, as formulated in the indigenous name of Russenorsk, the hybrid tongue of Russian and Norwegian fishermen: moja pȧ tvoja "mine in your way" (Broch 1927). (Jakobson 1960a: 539)

Concerning dynamics (PDS), this is a question to be asked of verbal cliches in general - what requirements must they fulfill to gain circulation.

Those settled nursery forms adopted by speech communities ostensibly reflect the salient features and tendencies of children's speech development and their universal homogeneity. In particular the phonemic range of the intimate parental terms proves to be "severely limited". The principles underlying the successive stages in the child's acquisition of language enable us to interpret and clarify the "cross-language parallels" in the structure of such terms throughout the world. (Jakobson 1960a: 540)

As predicted, the explanation lies in the pattern of acquisition.

Consonantal clusters appear in no more than 1.1 per cent of the 1,072 parental terms counted by Murdock, and child's speech at its early stages uses no consonantal groups but only combinations of consonants with vowels. Such combinations are nearly constant in the mama-papa words, and purely vocalic roots are exceptional: only three among the tabulated instances. (Jakobson 1960a: 540)

Invaluable data for detailing the non-informative speech of very young children.

The compact vowel displays the maximal energy output, while the diffuse consonant with an oral occlusion represents the maximal reduction in the energy output. Thus nursery [|] names for mother and father, like the earliest meaningful units emerging in infant speech, are based on the polarity between the optimal consonant and the optimal vowel (Jakobson & Halle 1957). (Jakobson 1960a: 540-541)

The relevant question here concerns the difference between meaningful units (of language) and informative communication: what information (or lack thereof) is present in "mama" and "papa"?

As soon as the child moves from his babbling activities to the first acquisition of conventional speech, he at once clings to the model "consonant plus vowel". (Jakobson 1960a: 541)

Could conventionality be the link between infant speech and ritualistic formulae?

At this stage, vocalic differences do not possess their own phonemic value, and the consonant functions as the only carrier of significative distinctions, the only genuine phoneme. (Jakobson 1960a: 541)

Phonologically, perhaps, but what about the fact of communication, per the contoural hypothesis?

In contradistinction to the "wild sounds" of babbling exercises, the phonemes are to be recognizable, distinguishable, identifiable; and in accordance with these requirements, they must be deliberately repeatable. This repetitiveness finds its most concise and succinct expression in, e.g., papa. The successive presentations of the same consonantal phonemes, repeatedly supported by the same vowel, improve their intelligibility and contribute to the correctness of message reception (cfp Pollack 1959). (Jakobson 1960a: 542)

Phraseology for discussing the social function of set phrases.

Some investigators, however, for example, Leopold (1947), insist that not seldom this transition from the m-interjection to the maternal term proved to be delayed, and one of the two parental terms, papa, appears as the first thoroughly designative verbal unit, whereas, for instance, the form mama existed in the language of Leopold's daughter as an interjection only: "it had no intellectual meaning and cannot be considered to be a semantic alternative of papa, which was learned with real meaning at 1;0. Mama with the standard meaning was not learned until 1;3." (Jakobson 1960a: 543)

An answer to the above-posed question about information and meaning, here answered in semantic/designative terms.

Parsons' (1955) observations on the preoedipal mother-child identity in its plain contradistinction to the father's role give an answer to the question why the first distant, merely deictic, rudimentarily cognitive attitude in child's verbal behavior is embodied in the paternal term, which "heralds just the transition from affective expression to designative language" (Jakobson 1941), whereas in the maternal term, the purely referential value arises in a later (Parsons would probably suggest - oedipal) stage. (Jakobson 1960a: 543)

Answer further elaborated, importantly slipping up with regard to the La Barrean question of emotional communication.

Jakobson, Roman and Morris Halle 1962b. Tenseness and Laxness. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 550-555.

Tense vowels have the duration needed for the production of the most clear-cut, optimal vowels, and in relation to them the lax vowels appear as quantitatively and qualitatively reduced, obscured, and deflected from their tense counterpart toward the neutral formant pattern. (Jakobson & Halle 1962b: 552)

Phraseology for discussing theoretical issues.

Jakobson, Roman 1926a. Contributions to the Study of Czech Accent. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 614-625.

Extragrammatical (non-phonemic) phenomena, i.e., those sound differences with which no distinction of meaning can be connected, usually attract the least attention from the native speaker of a language. (Jakobson 1926a: 614)

One part of the distinction elaborated further later on (to painstaking degrees, it could be said).

The distribution of the secondary stresses does not have any great significance for the Czech linguistic mind and varies considerably, dependengi on the individual character of speech, its speed, and emotional tinge - the very notion of a norm becomes rather subjective. (Jakobson 1926a: 615)

Among these characters, the psychological intention, the basis for functional analysis, would fall on "the individual character of speech", I guess.

The attention paid to the affective accentual variants makes his study a contribution to Czech stylistics. The reader is somewhat wearier by the excessively detailed sorting, while the basic classification of the data has not been properly presented by Trávníček. (Jakobson 1926a: 617)

A variant of emotional tinge and "emphatic Prague slang" (ibid, 616).

The choice is determined by syntactic reasons (certain words cannot lose their primary stress while bearing the sentence stress) or by stylistic factors (the affective coloring of words). (Jakobson 1926a: 617)

Further support for the supposition that the scheme of linguistic functions in "Linguistics and Poetics" is primarily stylistic.

Jakobson, Roman 1928c. On the Elimination of Long Consonants in Czech. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 626-628.

He rightly rejects the views of older Czech linguists on this matter, but fails himself either to delimit or to elucidate the process in question. [...] The fact that expected parallel forms such as vyjší, chujší do not [|] exist at present proves that only the analogy with the comparative suffix -ejší permitted such forms as mlejší to survive without adaptation to the positive degree mladý. (Jakobson 1928c: 626-627)

Phraseology for discussing the manner in which theoretical tenets argued against by BM reappear in WlB and later writers.

Jakobson, Roman 1962c. Retrospect. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 629-659.

Though the linguistic textbooks of our college years used to define language as an instrument of communication, chief attention in these manuals was paid to the pedigree of its disjecta membra. No answer appears to the crucial questions: how do the diverse components of this tool operate? what is the multiform relationship and interplay between the two sides of any verbal sign - its sensuous, perceptible aspect, which the Stoics labeled signans (the signifier), and the intelligible or, properly, translatable aspect, which they termed signatum (the signified)? (Jakobson 1962a: 631)

From what I've seen the "instrumentality" of language is nearly always contested in the same breath. Above we learned that the sound vibrations are the only "sensuous, perceptible aspect" of speech; with regards to the intelligible semantic content he already takes the Peircean sign-growth viewpoint.

Somewhat later, in 1917, S. J. Karcevskij returned to Moscow after years of study in Geneva and acquainted us with the essentials of the Saussurian doctrine. It was in those years, too, that students of psychology and linguistics in our university were passionately discussing the philosophers' newest attempts toward a phenomenology of language and of signs in general. (Jakobson 1962a: 631)

The philosophers in question are Brentano and Husserl?

The mode in which the signatum stands relatively to the signans, on the one hand, and to the denotatum, on the other, had never been laid bare so plainly, nor the semantic problems of art brought forward so provocatively as in cubist pictures, which delay recognition of the transformed and obscured object or even reduce it to zero. (Jakobson 1962a: 632)

Evidently this is an attempt to reconcile the dyadic and triadic sign models: signans (representation), signatum (interpretant), and denotatum (object). Not a perfect match, but close enough for certain purposes.

Xlebnikov's poetry became the topic for my first "onset" upon the analysis of language in its means and functions, an essay printed in Prague toward the beginning of 1921 but written and discussed almost two years before in our Moscow Linguistic Circle. This association of young research fellows, founded in 1915 and intensely active in 1919-20, was chiefly concerned with poetics. In the treatment of "practical" language and its history we were still under too strong a pressure from the elaborate, codified, and compulsory tenet of the neogrammarians to venture toward modes of analysis which were to be tentatively christened structural method, in my proposals to the first Congress of Slavists, 7 October 1929 (cf. Indogermanisches Jahrbuch, XIV, p. 386f.). Poetic language, disregarded by neogrammarian doctrine but presenting the most patently deliberate, goal-directed, and integrated linguistic species, was a field that called for a new type of analysis and particularly required us to study the interplay between sound and meaning. Actually, "to study this coordination of certain sounds with certain meanings", in Leonard Bloomfield's terse formulation, "is to study language" (Language, 1933). (Jakobson 1962a: 633)

By way of implication, the PF is the most indeliberate, undirected, and disintegrated linguistic species. The coordination of certain sounds with certain meanings Jakobson later (or simply elsewhere) calls the phonosemantic knot. Should read Bloomfield's Language (first published 1923); it's a 500+ page monster but might be worth it.

Among the factors favoring the extraction both of the common core and of the differentia specifica, I pointed to the morphological rules governing the use of such phonemic oppositions and to the phonemic environment setting bounds to their occurrence. (Jakobson 1962a: 635)

The individual correlate of common core, given in English in the next sentence as "differential property".

The concept of differential or distinctive qualities (for which in English I adopted the term distinctive features, used in 1933 by Bloomfield and Sapir) was to take over the place of ultimate discrete entity which formerly had been granted to the phoneme. (Jakobson 1962a: 636)

Very illuminative into the quality meant by countoural features.

Some disputants have rashly rejected the perceptual level, which they claim to be subjective, impressionistic acoustics, yet in verbal communication the subjective impression of the listener plays a decisive role, and correspondingly for speech analysis the perceptual stage of the speech event is of paramount importance. It is from sound attributes as discriminated and interpreted by the listener that one must proceed when seeking their correlates on both the physical and physiological levels. (Jakobson 1962a: 638)

As opposed to the subjective intentions of the speaker.

It is not a conscious awareness which acts in the speech community, but, as noted by Sapir, "a very delicately nuanced feeling of subtle relations, both experienced and possible." There is a striking correspondence between what is becoming ever more apparent in the use of the phonemic pattern by native adults and the gradual acquisition of language by the child, as examined in its intrinsically linguistic and psychological aspects. (Jakobson 1962a: 649)

Sapir's famous definition of intuition at play.

All the distinctions functioning in a language are acquired, performed, perceived, and interpreted by the participants of verbal communication, and the linguist recodes them as [|] he does all other superposed constituents of the symbolic stock possesed by the language users. The linguist translates this system of symbols into a correlated system termed "metalanguage". In this respect there is an essential difference between a physical science which imposes its own code of symbols upon the "indexes" observed (in C. S. Peirce's meaning of this term) and the phenomenology of language, whose task is to break up the inner code actually underlying all verbal symbols and, as Sapir used to say, all "symbolic atoms". (Jakobson 1962a: 649-650)

Here "metalanguage" is given as an equivalent of technical language, as opposed to the metalanguage of discussing different languages or the metalinguistic operation of explaining the meanings of particular words.

Phonemic change is a recoding: like any question of the linguistic code and of coding economy, it is first and foremost a semiotic question: yet despite Sapir's forceful warning (Language, Ch. VIII), some students of linguistics still make "the fatal error of thinking of sound change as a quasi-physiological" phenomenon and bandy about such easy catchwords as the "ease of articulation". (Jakobson 1962a: 651)

Neat term, might become useful in discussing the mechanization of speech.

In the over-all code of any individual speaker and of any speech community, the observer, insofar as he refrains from factitious filtration, unfailingly detects the permanent coexistence of phonemic variants relating to different subcodes of one and the same convertible code. Thus from fieldwork of 1916 in a village north of Moscow I first learned that we cannot properly speak of a uniform dialect, but only of "a multitude of individual and short-term parlances, and instead of sound-laws one deals here for the most part with mere bents and tendencies". Like modern thermodynamics, linguistics too treats both the reversible and the irreversible aspects of time. (Jakobson 1962a: 652)

Permanent dynamic synchrony might be one of his favourite topics because it was one of his earliest linguistic discoveries.

It is obvious that as a rule a distinctive feature in any language serves to differentiate words (or their grammatical constituents) which are semantically distinct; and, above all, language has no other way to convey a semantic difference than through the distinctive features. When two words are homonyms, as in Chomsky's felicitous example bank (of a river) and bank (for savings), either their semantic difference is conveyed by the distinctive features of the context (as, for instance, sand bank and land bank) or, if the context gives the listener no clue to the right choice between the homonyms - the verbal channel thus carrying insufficient information, the meaning intended by the speaker must be inferred from the non-verbalized situation; or else the listener is presented with an ambiguity, since for the utterance I saw him by the bank both solutions - Bank of the river and bank for savings - are per se equally probable. (Jakobson 1962a: 656)

Back when I first encountered "the non-verbalized situation" in Jakobson's writings I was a bit baffled. Now I wonder how clear, if idiosyncratic, it is. It is basically "what is left unsaid", i.e. what can be seen or pointed out in the immediate surroundings. On the other hand, "the distinctive features of the context" sounds odd, if only because distinctive qualities or something like it would be more natural.

In Standard Polish the labialized lateral [lw] is being gradually supplanted by the bilabial [w]: leb "head" [lwep] changes into [wep], and often people use alternatively both variants, the latter in More negligent, familiar talk, and the former in a more careful, conventional speech, with an amazing awareness of the difference between the two free variants of one and the same phoneme. (Jakobson 1962a: 657)

I had wondered about the letter Ł in Bronisław Malinowski's first name since the phonetic spelling on Wikipedia is given as /ˈbrɒnɪˌswɑːf.

[...] I must state that such a withdrawal would be an unwarrantable retreat from the effective position bravely captured by Henry Sweet, when, in 1877, "treating the relations of sounds" and the principles of "sound-notation", he singled out those "distinctions of sound which actually correspond to distinctions of meaning in language" and deliberately separated the "independently significant" differences "to which differences of meaning correspond" from the "endless shades" of sound difference that "do not alter the meaning [...] of the words in which they occur". (Jakobson 1962a: 658)

This might be what he has in mind when mentioning the "grading gamut" of expressive features.

Jakobson, Roman and Morris Halle 1959b. Note on the Tonality Features of Roumanian Consonantal Phonemes. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 661-663.

In January 1957 in the Phonetic Cabinet of the Czech Language Institute at the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Research Fellows B. Borovičková and J. Ondráčková made tape recordings of the Roumanian dialectal word samples [...] Spectograms of these records were made in the Acoustic Laboratory of M.I.T. by M. Halle. (Jakobson & Halle 1959b: 661)


Jakobson, Roman 1963b. A Phonemic Approach to the Structure and Evolution of the Common Slavic Prosodic Pattern. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 687-689.

The word accent fell on the high-pitched syllable, and in low-pitched words on the first syllable. With the culminative function, performed by any word accent, the high pitch accent combined a distinctive (phonemic) function and the low pitch accent a demarcative function. (Jakobson 1963b: 688)

Sadly I have no idea what's going on here.

Jakobson, Roman 1964a. The Prosodic Questions of Slavic Historical Phonology Restated. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 690-692.

Since the last or only high pitch within a word was phonemic, and since no word contained more than one phonemic high pitch, the latter functioned jointly as a distinctive and culminative feature. (Jakobson 1964a: 690)


Jakobson, Roman 1965a. Information and Redundancy in the Common Slavic Prosodic Pattern. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 693-699.

This topic requires consistent discrimination of straight informative and redundant features and precise singling out of the different informative functions performed by prosodic features. (Jakobson 1965a: 693)

Informative vs redundant. Is it certain that the referential function can be identified with the informative? Not every reference presents novel data.

As regards the treatment of prosodic features, we must consider three kinds of word syllables: initial, internal, and final [...] (Jakobson 1965a: 695)

Compare to initial, nuclear, and terminal phases.

Jakobson, Roman 1966a. The Role of Phonic Elements in Speech Perception. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 706-717.

[...] yet the identification of the two phonemes at issue still remains indispensable as long as neither the context nor the situation (the nonverbalized context) provides the recipient with the necessary clue. (Jakobson 1966a: 705)

Sometimes context and situation are exchangeable in Jakobson's writings.

It is evident that phonemic clues permit the listener to catch some word-and-clause contours before his complete identification of the verbal input. (Jakobson 1966a: 706)

Collecting types of contours.

The lessons of this research carry implications relevant for an insight into the role played by the distinctive features in speech perception. On the plane of psychological reality these features act as percepts which convert the continuum of their physical substratum into discrete polarized attributes. (Jakobson 1966a: 708)

What is the microphysiology of the semeion?

The more a message is creative, unusual and unlooked-for, the lower is the amount of redundancy and predictability and the greater must be the attention paid by the decoder to the minimal components of the utterance. (Jakobson 1966a: 709)

By way of counterpoint, PF should pertain to messages that are unoriginal, habitual, and sought-for (expected).

Each level of language from its ultimate discrete components of the totality of discourse and each level of speech production and perception must be treated with respect both to intrinsic, autonomous laws and to the constant interaction of diverse levels as well as to the integral structure of the verbal code and messages (alias language and speech) in their permanent interplay. (Jakobson 1966a: 716)

Note that the message is speech, whereas many interpret the message, as the English word implies, as the written word. This has profound consequences for evaluating whether the scheme represents the functions of speech or communication, generally.

The necessary tie between these two fundamental principles warns the investigator against two traditional blunders. These are, on the one hand, isolationism, which deliberately disregards the interconnections of the parts and their solidarity with the whole, and on the other hand, heteronomy (or, metaphorically, colonialism), which forcibly subjects one level to another's rules and denies the former's own patterning as well as its self-generating development. The same double principle can and must be extended to the relationship between linguistics and psychology. The linguistic foundations of verbal structure and the psychological problems of speech intention and perception demand not only a rigidly intrinsic analysis but also an interdisciplinary synthesis. (Jakobson 1966a: 716)

Yet again, the scheme appears to be located at the junction of linguistics and psychology. Ultimately, the question is: who decides what the function of an utterance is? The sender, the receiver, or a linguist observer?

Jakobson, Roman 1968a. Extrapulmonic Consonants: Ejectives, Implosives, Clicks. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 720-727.

Clicks actually border upon the implosives, as emphasized by D. M. Beach, one of the best inquirers into this peculiarity of South African languages: "the essential feature of a click is the influx of air into the mouth from without, in other words, the implosion." Both the clicks proper and the implosives proper are "inward-drawn phones", all produced by a rarefaction of air. (Jakobson 1968a: 722)

Interesting on its own right.

Jakobson, Roman and Morris Halle 1968f. The Revised Version of the List of Inherent Features. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 738-742.

[...] genetically - a deliberate (vs. rapid) execution of the required gesture resulting in a lasting stationary articulation; [...] (Jakobson & Halle 1968f: 740)

Another pair of adjectives that differentiate the creative and uncreative styles of language use.

Jakobson, Roman 1971b. Saussure's Unpublished Reflections on Phonemes. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 743-750.

Instead of those schoolboy "dreams", elaborate scientific doctrines - first in the comparative-historical field and then in linguistic theory - served as foundations for Saussure's research from his earliest publications (1877-8) until the last years of university activities (1911-12). What remained, however, the immutable feature of the scholar's personality was the same and constant diffidence in the correctness of the chosen path (Si j'étais sûr [...]) and subsequently a similar lingering "disgust" furthered by the repetitive feeling of rupture between his creative ways of thought and the widely predominant linguistic tenets. (Jakobson 1971b: 744)

I wonder how "diffident" my own scrambling researches will appear in a few decades time. It feels like I've traveled a lot without reaching any specific point.

But perhaps the genuine greatness of this eternal wanderer and pathfinder lies precisely in his dynamic repugnance toward the "vanity" of any "definitive thought". Then, the vacillation of his terms and concepts, the outspoken doubts, open questions, divergences and contradictions [|] between his diverse writings and lectures and even without any single draft or course appear to be a vital constituent of an anxious seeking and restless striving as well as of his essentially multilateral view of language. (Jakobson 1971b: 744-745)

In this light Malinowski's definitive statements about social speech are as vain as the gossip he abhorred.

[...] sentence unfinished in the manuscript and apparently alluding to the set of "empirical rules" viewed as a "mere intellectual contrivance" [...] (Jakobson 1971b: 750)

Phraseology descriptive of certain terminological inventions.

Jakobson, Roman 1971e. Prefatory Letter to Studies in Honor of Eli Fischer-Jørgensen. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Second edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, 751-752.

It must be said to the dedicatee of this volume what a rare joy it has been to follow the manifold stages of her creative path and intrepid, steadfast ascent toward the summit of contemporary world scholarship and to look ahead with confident expectation of her ever new momentous achievements. (Jakobson 1971e: 751)

Phraseology for how I feel about the "uninitiated" field of phatics.

Actualy, the functional specificity determines all the aspects of the speech event and their interrelation - from the motor commands of the sayer and the striking difference between the aural discrimination of speech sounds and each other sound stimulus to the perceptual and conceptual treatment of acoustic signals by the sayee (in Peirce's neat nomenclature). (Jakobson 1971e: 752)

Sayer and sayee would definitely make the speech-centered nature of the scheme more apparent than addresser and addressee, which sound intimately tied to letter-writing.

Waugh, Linda R. and Monique Monville-Burston 2002. Introduction to Roman Jakobson, Selected Writings: On Language: The Life, Work and Influence of Roman Jakobson. In: Rudy, Stephen (ed.), Selected Writings I: Phonological Studies. Third edition. s-Gravenhage: Mouton, v-lxiii.

Linguista sum; linguistici nihil a me alienum puto. (I am a linguist and I consider nothing having to do with language as foreign to me.) (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: vi)

Recorded because it comes to mind frequently. I also liked him writing, in this volume, though I regrettably didn't record it, that nothing should be removed from linguistic study (least of which the semantic aspect).

Jakobson adopted the ideas of Edmund Husserl (1913) and Anton Marty (1908) on universal grammar as the only firm theoretical basis for linguistic work (Holenstein 1976a, 1987). Jakobson then correlated this basis with the work on Gestalt psychology, which insisted on relations (especially part-whole relations), on their constitutive character, and on the importance of contextualization (RJ 1963c). (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: ix)

Just recently thought about how I want to learn German just to read Marty, whereas A. L. learned German just to read Husserl.

Characherizing himself as a realist, Jakobson nonetheless fought against a naive realism in art and science (RJ 1921a). He championed the reality of linguistic phenomena, as well as the point of view of language users (speakers and addressees) rather than that of the observer who is outside of the system and thus least able to understand its reality. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: ix)

Quite relevant for delineating the base of the functional scheme (the intention of the speaker, over and above the interpretations of the listener or those of the linguistic observer). Might need some evidence from Jakobson's own writings, though.

In the same period he cofounded the Society for the Study of Poetic Language (OPOJAZ) in Saint Petersburg and was coauthor with Jurij Tynjanov of its programmatic statement (RJ 1928c). These two groups, which today go under the name of Russian Formalism, consisted of linguistics, literary scholars, and writers (especially aestheticians and poets). They insisted on the autonomy of literary studies and called for an immanent analysis of literary works, with a focus on the properties that distinguish literary material from any other kind. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xi)

This must be the n-th time I'm considering defining the most automatized use of language in opposition to the most deautomatized one. Can such properties be abstracted from relevant characterizations?

This view was evidenced in particular through the Saussurian antinomies (dichotomies) such as synchrony-diachrony, langue-parole, and paradigmatic-syntagmatic. Saussure saw a conflict between the opposite ends of any dichotomy and tended to exclude one of them from linguistic altogether. For him, linguistics was about langue (the system of language) and could not include parole (the usage of language). Or he established absolute fusion between various dichotomies: [|] synchrony (the system of language at any one time) is always static; diachrony (language over time), always dynamic. Jakobson, however, regarded the two sides of a dichotomy as complementary and all dichotomies as independent of one another. He argued that linguistics must study parole, and his work on the roots of sound change in synchrony led him to claim that synchrony can be both static and dynamic. Any state of language thus presents a dynamic synchrony. Changes in progress are manifested as stylistically and socially marked variants (sometimes called functional dialects) in the system of a language at a given time: for example, old-fashioned versus newfangled, more careful versus more sloppy, "allegro" versus "largo" speech. In this way Jakobson insisted on the inclusion of time as an element of synchronic structure - in particular of phonological structure (RJ 1980d). (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xv-xvi)

Permanent dynamic synchrony explained as contrarianism against Saussure.

Jakobson made a further step in his definition of the phoneme and the distinctive feature: they are signs. Their signified is "(mere) otherness," or pure differentiation: they serve merely to distinguish words. Since words are also signs, phonemes and features are pure "signs of signs," unlike all other types of signs, which have some content. By using such definitions, he placed these phonological elements in a much broader context. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xviii)

No singleness of reference.

He did find friends however - Franz Boas, Benjamin Lee Whorf, and Leonard Bloomfield (see Halle 1988) - and he quickly became part of the international community that formed in New York during the war. He was professor of general linguistics and of Czechoslovak studies at the Franco-Belgian "University in Exile," the Ecole Libre des Hautes Etudes in New York City (under the auspices of the New School for Social Research), from 1942 to 1946. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xx)

This is reportedly where he met Cassirer and other notable figures in exile at the time.

Above all, the American period saw the emergence of deeper questions having to do with the function of language. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xxi)

Probably not a coincidence that this occurred after 1955.

Recognizing the theoretical richness of communication theory, he also placed it in the broader context of a theory of pragmatics, that is, his theory of the "functions of language." (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xxiii)


Also in 1956 Jakobson published "Two Aspects of Language" (RJ 1956b), in which he analyzed the relation between communicative processes and properties of linguistic structure. On the oneh and, he distinguished the two operations used for production and comprehension: selection (substitution) and combination (also called contexture). In order to produce utterances, speakers have to select linguistic items from sets and combine them into larger wholes, thereby creating contexts; in their turn, addressees have to comprehend the combinations and discern which items were originally selected. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xxiv)

Another illuminating insight into the "set".

These studies include many observations on grammatical meaning, lexical meaning, syntax, figurative meanings, discourse analysis, and so forth. Like his studies of aphasia and child language (RJ 1971g), they are even now an unmined source for Jakobsonian insight. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xxvii)

Phraseology. I am currently "mining" Jakobsonian insight.

Many other texts also contain at least implicit subtexts against generative work. The title of 1980b, for example, is dialogic. Jakobson's "Brain and Language" contrasts with Language and Mind (Chomsky 1968); he stresses empirical research on the brain in opposition to untestable assertions about an abstract mind. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xxxviii)

Would like to do the same but will have to first look into the microphysiology of the semeion.

He was constantly looking for intellectual empathy with others. For him, a necessary condition for successful communication was a certain sense of fellowship. "What is needed in order to grasp the language of another? One must have a keen feeling of intelligibility, an intuition of solidarity between the speaker and the listener" (RJ 1967c: 101). (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xxxix)

Loaded terminology. The source appears to be Russian.

Characteristically, even linguists today who reject, just as Jakobson did, a narrow structuralist perspective (such as sociolinguists, functionalists, and generative grammarians) have integrated many of his ideas. In many cases, however, the repercussions of Jakobson's work are less immediate and therefore more difficult to trace. Certain of Jakobson's concepts and discoveries are now so deeply ingrained in the theoretical bases of modern linguistics that they are thought to be commonplace or self-evident. The widely used concepts of feature, binary opposition, markedness, redundancy, and universal, for example, have become the intellectual property of beginners in linguistics, often without the acknowledgment that they originated in or were fostered by Jakobson's work. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xlii)

Not exactly, but pretty closely, the case with the PF, which is increasingly taken as a given.

Furthermore, one should not concentrate on the cognitive or referential function of language to the prejudice of the other, primordial functions (a weakness of many current linguistic approaches). (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xliii)

Alias primitive functions?

The paradoxical Jakobsonian combination "dynamic synchrony" insists on the fact that historical changes are yielded by spatial and social variations and that investigating social dialects may shed light on linguistic evolution. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: xlvii)

The relevant keyword for my purposes is "social".

The very notion of feature, including its binary nature, also comes directly from Jakobson. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: liv)

Or, from Sapir, as Jakobson himself says.

[...] it is also frequently associated with ideas of normality, regularity, predictability, and frequency of ocurrence, all of which are present in Jakobson, but secondary. (Waugh & Monville-Buston 2002: lvi)

Lexical findings for mechanized speech.


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