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Slovene lectures

Slovene lectures

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Published by igorzagar
In December 1991 Oswald Ducrot gave a series of five lectures on the nature of his theory of argumentation in the language-system to postgraduate students of Discourse Studies at the ISH, Institute for the Study of Humanities in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Since, on the one hand, there is growing interest for Prof. Ducrot's theory, and on the other very few of his works were translated into English (the modern lingua franca, whether we like it or not), we decided to publish his Slovenian lectures as a bilingual, English-French edition. The lectures were translated by dr. Sebastian McEvoy.
The Slovenian lectures have been conceived as an introduction to the theory of argumentation in the language-system, and in Prof. Ducrot's opinion don't need a special introduction. So let me just point out that we appended to the lectures an exhaustive list of Prof. Ducrot's publications.
In December 1991 Oswald Ducrot gave a series of five lectures on the nature of his theory of argumentation in the language-system to postgraduate students of Discourse Studies at the ISH, Institute for the Study of Humanities in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Since, on the one hand, there is growing interest for Prof. Ducrot's theory, and on the other very few of his works were translated into English (the modern lingua franca, whether we like it or not), we decided to publish his Slovenian lectures as a bilingual, English-French edition. The lectures were translated by dr. Sebastian McEvoy.
The Slovenian lectures have been conceived as an introduction to the theory of argumentation in the language-system, and in Prof. Ducrot's opinion don't need a special introduction. So let me just point out that we appended to the lectures an exhaustive list of Prof. Ducrot's publications.

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Published by: igorzagar on Jun 30, 2011
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11/28/2011

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Oswald Ducrot
SLOVENE LECTURES
TABLE OF CONTENTSIn place of introduction .......................................Lecture I ......................................................Lecture II .....................................................Lecture III ....................................................Lecture IV .....................................................Lecture V ......................................................Index ..........................................................Publications ...................................................
 
 IN PLACE OF INTRODUCTIONIn December 1991 Oswald Ducrot gave a series of five lectures on the nature of his
theory of argumentation in the language-system
to postgraduate students of Discourse Studies at the ISH,Institute for the Study of Humanities in Ljubljana, Slovenia.Since, on the one hand, there is growing interest for Prof. Ducrot's theory, and on the other veryfew of his works were translated into English (the modern
lingua franca
, whether we like it or not), we decided to publish his
Slovenian lectures
as a bilingual, English-French edition. Thelectures were translated by dr. Sebastian McEvoy.The
Slovenian lectures
have been conceived as an introduction to the
theory of argumentation inthe language-system
, and in Prof. Ducrot's opinion don't need a special introduction. So let me just point out that we appended to the lectures an exhaustive list of Prof. Ducrot's publications.A lot of people collaborated at this publication; my special thanks, as the editor of the volume, goto dr. Sebastian McEvoy, Danielle Charonnet, Peter Altshul, Simona Suhadolnik, MarjetaDoupona-Horvat and Zoja Skušek.Of course, Prof. Ducrot's lectures, as well as this publication would not have been possiblewithout the financial support from the Ministry of Science and Technology of the Republic of Slovenia.Igor Ž. Žagar 
 
 LECTURE I (December 9)To begin, I would like to say that I am extremely happy to be here in Ljubljana. This is myfirst visit to Slovenia, and I already hope it will not be the last. If I am lucky enough to comehere a second time, I hope I will be able to say two, perhaps even three words in Slovenian toyou, but I am not making a promise on that point.I would also like to thank all those who have collaborated with me on this seminar: to beginwith, those who invited me and who have organised this meeting, particularly Igor Žagar. Iwould also like to thank both the Slovene and French institutions which have made thisseminar possible.In the hand-outs which outline the seminar, you are told that I am going to present one of themost interesting (I am quoting, of course) linguistic theories of our times. I am afraid that Igor may have been slightly optimistic in writing that, but, in any case, what I am going to speak toyou about are things which, personally, I find interesting and which, I can even say, havefascinated me for around twenty years now -- perhaps even more -- that is to say, ever since I became involved in linguistics and especially that part of linguistics called
 semantics
.In the five lectures of this seminar, I am going to try to give you an overall view of the work Ihave been doing and which, in fact, I am continuing to do even as I present it to you in itsmost recent form: in the first lecture, the one I am going to give today, I will develop a certainnumber of general topics; in the second, I will speak about a particular theory, the theory of  polyphony, which is the basis of all my work, and then, in the last three lectures, I will speak about the notion of argument, around which all my work is now centered.To give you a general idea of my work, I will begin with a commonplace hypothesis whichsociologists very often make and I believe justifiably so. Especially in recent years,sociologists have been saying constantly that all social activity produces a representation or animage of itself in and through its very exercise. That is to say, once people get together to dosomething, they also produce a representation of that group and of what that group does. Thatis true of the different professions, which all construct images of themselves. It is true also of every social class. There are sociologists who insist upon the fact that one of thecharacteristics of the lower classes is that they reproduce the image which in fact the rulingclass has constructed of them. For example, French peasants develop an image of peasantry; but that image of peasantry developed by peasants is the image the ruling classes of thenation, for example the town-milieux, have constructed. One of the principal functions andone of the principal uses of the social sciences, in my mind, is to try to make that image whichsocial groups construct of themselves explicit, and, when necessary, to criticize that image.This work which is carried out in the social sciences is absolutely necessary, it seems to me, because the representation which social groups give of themselves seems so obvious to themthat, in general, they do not feel the need to make it explicit, to think about it. What is true for social activity in general is also true, I think, for linguistic activity, which is simply one socialactivity among others. When you use a language, you develop a certain image of language ingeneral. Where is that image of language, which a language itself imposes upon us, to befound? Well, I think, in the lexicon of a language, in its vocabulary, which has a certainnumber of terms to speak about linguistic activity. For example, almost all languages havewords like
mean, express, say, promise, allow
, etc. All these words, taken together, constitutea sort of description of what linguistic activity is about. I think that the linguist as a researcher who is concerned with that social phenomenon which language is, must manage to make that-- so to speak -- spontaneous representation a language gives of itself explicit, clear,reflective. Moreover, we linguists, if possible, must question that self-representation which

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