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Book: Describing Language: Form and Function

Chapter: Chapter 2: Directions from Structuralism [1987]

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.24905


This paper shows the variation, the potentiality, the synchronic oscillation, of the sign structuralism. Following Firth in rejecting Saussure’s langue/parôle dichotomy, Hasan argues that potentiality in language is always limited by who we are, how others see us, what rights we enjoy, what obligations we carry. In other words, the potentiality of the sign is actualized within a social context.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ruqaiya Hasan ( - book-auth-41) 'Macquarie University (Emeritus)'