Linguistics and Grammatology Author(s): Jacques Derrida and Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak Source: SubStance, Vol. 4, No.

10 (Autumn, 1974), pp. 127-181 Published by: University of Wisconsin Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 23/02/2011 11:55
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Jacques Derrida

is nothing but the repreWriting sentation it is bizarre of speech; that one gives more care to the of the image than to determining the object. J. J. Rousseau, d'un essai sur inedit Fragment les langues

The concept of writing should of a science. define the field But can it be determined outside of all the historicoby scholars that we have just so situated metaphysical predeterminations What can a science of writing if to signify, clinically? begin it is granted: the very idea of science was born in a certain 1) that epoch of writing; it was thought and formulated, as task, 2) that idea, proin a language a certain kind of structurally and ject, implying and writing; determined between axiologically speech relationship to that extent, to the conit was first related 3) that, of phonetic valorized as the cept and the adventure writing, telos of all writing, even though what was always the exemplary model of scientificity--mathematics--constantly moved away from that goal; of a general the strictest notion science 4) that of writing was born, a certain for non-fortuitous of reasons, during period the world's around the eighteenth and history (beginning century) within a certain determined of relationships between system and inscription; "living" speech *(c) for the English Gayatri Chakravorty version. This Spivak constitutes the second essay of Jacques chapter Derrida's De Za (c) Les Editions de Minuit, Grammatologie. 1967. Professor translation Spivak's of the entire English book is forthcoming. Printed with permission. 127 SUB-STANCE No. 10, 1974

1 "8


of science--and ticular pointed the possibility

5) that


the episteme.


its first, possibly object--but out in The Origin of Geometry, of ideal and therefore objects

is not only

an auxiliary

means in the service
as IIusserl the condition of scientific in parof ob-






the condition


of 6) that historicity is tied to the possibility itself of writing to the possibility in general, writing; beyond those in the name of which we have long forms of writing particular Before and without history. spoken of peoples without writing an historical science--writing being the object of a history--of And the forof history--of historical becoming. opens the field

look for its object of writing should therefore The science should of writing The history at the roots of scientificity. of the A science turn back toward the origin of historicity. which would A science of the science of science? possibility








of philosophy? or a history of history, the possibility are of writing sciences and the classical The positive this sort of question. to repress point, Up to a certain obliged of positive to the progress is even necessary such repression be held Beside the fact that it would still investigation. the ontophenomenological within a philosophizing question logic, of essence, that is to say of the origin of writing, could, by or historical or sterilize the typological itself, only paralyze research of facts. not to weigh that prejudicial moreover,.is My intention, of and somewhat facile question that dry, necessary, question, researches of the positive the power and efficacy against right, and system of The genesis which we are allowed to witness today. had never led to such profound, extended, and assured exscripts a matter of weighing the question It is not really plorations. are since the questions the importance of the discovery, against If the issue is not quite imponderable, they cannot be weighed. has real consequences that, it is perhaps because its repression case in the present in the very content of the researches that, and in a privileged way, are always arranged around the problems and commencement. of definition himleast of all can avoid questioning The grammatologist of of his object in the form of a question self about the essence means "where and when does writing "What is writing?" origin; come very quickly. The responses They circle generally begin?" and move within evidence which within little-criticized concepts that a It is around these resnonses always seems self-evident. are always on the growth of writing typology of and a perspective of writing are comAll works dealing with the history organized. classiand teleological posed in the same form: a philosophical the critical exhausts fication problems in a few pages; one passes We have a contrast between the of facts. next to an exposition and the historical, of the reconstructions theoretical fragility wealth of information. philological ethnological, archaeological,



a logical


a grammatical


A history



and Grammatology


The question of the origin of writing of and the question the origin of language are difficult to separate. Grammatolowho are generally gists, historians, by training epigraphists, and archaeologists, seldom relate to the their researches modern science of language. It is all the more surprising that, of man," linguistics whose is the one science among the "sciences is given as an example with a zealous and insistent scientificity unanimity. Has grammatology, then, the right to expect from linguistics an essential that it has almost never looked for? assistance On at work, in the the contrary, does one not find efficaciously sets itself up as a science, very movement by which linguistics a metaphysical about the relationship between presupposition Would that presupposition not hinder the speech and writing? constitution of a general science of writing? Is not the liftof the landscape an overthrowing ing of that presupposition installed? of language is peacefully For upon which the science better and for worse? For blindness as well as for productivity? This is the second type of question that I now wish to outline. To develop this question, I should like to approach, as a priviand texts of Ferdinand de Saussure. leged example, the project That the particularity of the example does not interfere with the generality of my argument is a point which I shall occasionally try not merely to take for granted. thus wishes to be the science of language. Let Linguistics us set aside all the implicit decisions that have established such a project and all the questions about its own origin that the fecundity of this science Let us allows to remain dormant. first that the scientificity of that science is simply consider often acknowledged because of its phonoZogical foundations. it is often said today, communicates its scientificity Phonology, to linguistics, which in turn serves as the epistemological model for all the sciences of man. Since the deliberate and of linguistics orientation systematic phonological (Troubetskoy, out an intention carries which was originally Jakobson, Martinet) I shall, at least provisionally, confine myself to Saussure's, the latter. Will my argument be equally a fortiori to applicable the most accentuated forms of phonologism? The problem will at least be stated. of linguistics field The science determines language--its of objectivity--in simthe last instance and in the irreducible of its essence, as the unity of the phonZ, the gZossa, plicity and the logos. to all is by rights anterior This determination the possible that arose within the systems of differentiations of the different schools [Zangue/ terminology (language/speech paroZe]; code/message; scheme/usage; linguistic/logic; phonology/ And even if one wished to phonematics/phonetics/glossematics). on the side of the sensible and contingent signikeep sonority fier since formal (which would be strictly speaking impossible, identities isolated within a sensible mass are already idealities that are not purely sensible), it would have to be admitted that and the immediate and privileged unit which founds significance



the act of language is the articulated of sound and sense unity the phonie. With regard to this within would unity, writing be derivative, accidental, exterior, always particular, doubling the signifier: said Aristotle, "Sign of a sign," phonetic. and Hegel. Rousseau, that the intention as institutes Yet, linguistics general a science remains in this within a contradiction. Its' respect declared indeed what goes without purpose confirms--saying saysubordination of grammatology, the historico-metaphysiing--the cal reduction of writing to the rank of an instrument enslaved to a full But another and originarily spoken gesture language. of purpose, here what does not go without statement (not another is done without written without said, being proffered) saying being of a general of which linguisliberates the future grammatology area. would be only a dependent and circumscribed tics-phonology in and statement Let us follow this tension between gesture Saussure. The Outside and the Inside

On the one hand, true to the occidental tradition that connot only in theory trols but in practice (in the principle of its the relationships between and writing, Saussure speech practice) does not recognize in the latter more than a narrow and derivative Narrow because it is nothing but one modality function. among a language a modality of the events which can befall others, unas the facts whose essence, seem to show, can remain forever and does have a definite contaminated "Language by writing. of writing" oral tradition is independent that stable (Cours de Derivative because p. 46) representative: generale, linguistique of the selfof the first signifier representation signifie'r, of the immediate, and direct natural, voice, significapresent of the ideal of the meaning of the concept, tion (of the signified, definor what have you). Saussure takes object up the traditional in Plato and Aristotle, was restricted of writing ition which, already of words. Let us and the language to the model of phonetic script definition: recall the Aristotelian "Spoken words are the symbols words are the symbols of spoken of menta and written experience words." and writing are two distinct Saussure: sys"Language the second tems of signs; exists of reprefor the sole purpose 23]. This reprethe first." mine)[p. (p. 45; italics senting with sentative beside determination, essentially communicating or an evaluation, a choice the idea of the sign, does not translate a psychological or metaphysical does not betray presupposition it describes the strucreflects to Saussure; or rather peculiar ture of a certain which we use, script, type of script: phonetic in general of which the episteme and within the principles (science could be founded. and philosophy), in particular, and linguistics than structure; it is not a question One should say model rather but of an ideal and functioning of a system constructed perfectly is never which in fact a functioning completely directing explicitly of essence to which I shall for reasons but also In fact, phonetic. return. frequently

modern linguistics to writing and would finally to regard it with suspicion. not just one fact it does Nevertheless certainly among others. units in the operate formation of which it has played no part. Even if the word is implies (p. . "The Word. suppose by ceasing privilege would become that much more attentive word." from already constituted of signification. to speak a more rigorously language. of Saussurian or. italics thus entailed The form of the question to which he responded of word is of knowing what sort the response. (p. that fact 'thoughtsound' division" 1123. and voice. this as a point of departure. the exterior representation of language and of this It must necessarily "thought-sound. . division of language into words in certain areas of linguistics." it will be the outside. an effect of "the somewhat mysterious ." he describes the necessity that linguiscontemporary tics with the if not to dispense obeys when it is led. I seem to have maintained Hitherto that linguistics of the unit called word has prevented only the fascination giving to writing the attention I seemed to that it merited. Writing the "screen of the word.the present of the word. writing commands our entire and our entire and it is culture science.Linguistics and Grammatology 131 To be sure this factum of phonetic it is massive." What a contemporary well illustrates to structural research can say about the word linguist the functionaZ what extent and thirty-five of the last years . would thus have encouraged classical in its writing linguistics would have constructed or at least condensed prejudices. unities that are written the word (vox) is already a unity of sense of concept and sound. the signified and the signifier. the objection will be made that writing Perhaps up to the has not only not contradicted. at least to make its concept usage more flexible. the question of relationships between long as one poses speech and writing in the light of the indivisible units of the "thoughtthere will be the ready response. not respond to any necessity of an absolute and universal essence. 156)Ep. 45. but indeed confirmed. will sound. This last was terminology moreover in the domain of spoken first alone. constitutes the object" mine) form alone Ep. It was a matter the object of linguistics between and what the relationships the Now atomic and the spoken word are. 99 cp. as even if it implies other divisions. By that to accord to the an absolute that. everywhere of the word. and not in the domain of to retain to desigthe word sign ("I propose semiology Csignel nate the whole and sound-image and to replace respecconcept and signifier tively by signified Esignifig] Csignifiant]" a constituted The word is thus already p. cease Andre Martinet comes to the opposite In his study conclusion. Saussure defines the project Using and object of general "The linguistic is linguistics: object not both the written and the spoken the spoken forms of words. 23-243. 673). in its turn articulated. unity." always Writing be "phonetic. proposed language of linguistics in the narrow sense. to associate it with the concepts units of smaller or greater In accrediting and consolidating the (monemes or syntagms).

applying mechanical which translation. applications such as the research to of linguistics. beyond The fundamental traits are often of hunan language to be found behind the screen of words.. . of the arbitrariness of the sign. by the emphasis they on the written form of the language place might seem to lend importance in the written to spaces text and it is from speech lead us to forget that one should start in order to understand the real nature always Thus more than ever it is indisof hunan language. The classic of an ideographic example o f writing is Chinese. concept it seems. alphabetic. 2) The system commonly system known as "phonetic" to reproduce the succession tries that make up a word. representing the elements or representing of sounds manner. 25-26] of isolated (p. by the notion Writing as "a system of signs. this entire demonstration must. to insist on the necessity the pensable of pushing eramination the immediate and beyond appearances the structures most familiar to the researcher. In effect Saussure limits the number of systems of writing to two. spontaneous Beyond that model and that of writing. For it remains in the Saussurian trapped limitation that we are attempting to explore.132 Derrida has had to revise traditional to in order concepts foundations for the observation lay the scientific and description Certain of language. on the irreducible Moreelements used in speaking. of natural a relationship is no writing as long as graphism keeps but to what is not signified and of some resemblance figuration of pictographic or natural The concept etc. be reconsidered. represented. This limitation is fundamentally in Saussure's justified. 47)Ep. both defined as systems of representation of the oral and global either words in a synthetic language. freely ideographic systems when certain idecqrans lose their value and original become symbols sounds. eyes. for the idea expressed by the word." is no "symbolic" defined there being no figurative there (in the Saussurian sense). drawn. One cannot but subscribe to this caution. Each written stands sign for a whole word and. The processes of mechanical to which it alludes translation conform to that similarly practice. writing writing.e. consequently. are Phonetic of sounds systems sometimes based sometimes i. phonetically words: constituting There are only two systems 1) In an of writing: each word is represented ideographic system by a that is unrelated to the sounds sign of the single word itself. syllabic. Yet it must be recognized that it throws only on a certain always suspicion to the empirically type of writing: phonetic writing conforming determined and practiced of ordinary divisions oral language. becone mixtures over.

These two limitations are all because the more reassuring to what we need at a specific to respond they are just point the most legitimate for of exigencies. ideographic. image/reality. between so-called and phonetic scripts. it to exclude one has the right 23] of the language. which in truth gesture. 44)cp. of image. pictogram. inner of language system" (p. historicity. pictographic. speech. paradoxically." from it. concept If writing is nothing but the "figuration" itates (p. representation/presence. in fact. institutions etc. opposition physis is perand nomos. the system that stems from especially the Greek alphabet" 263. In addition. writing of one considers the now-recognized of the notions fragility and the uncertainty of the frontiers etc. limitaone measures not only the imprudence of the Saussurian tion but the need for general to abandon an entire linguistics of concepts. . But let us keep that question this perhaps provisionally open: inis also over metaphysics. 44)Cp." of "appearance" and "essence. inherited from metaphysics--often through family around the the intermediary of a psychology--and clustering of arbitrariness. and less more critical. 48)Cp. as the image may be of reality. to Ethel . things. regulated strucand that in a certain way its by an internal necessity. the is the old grid to which is given the task of outlining that Of a science domain of a science. . except production. . ideogram. Saussure limitaintroduces another massive "I shall tion: limit discussion to the phonetic and system to the one used today. And of what science? can no longer answer to the classical of the episteme concept it because the originality that of its field--an originality it that the opening of the "image" within inaugurates--is can that of "reality. presides of in the concept scribed of history and even in the concept time. of writing facilThe representativist ture be closed." a relationship as the condition appears and the undifference no longer be thought within the simple of "outside" and "reality. writing..133 Linguistics and Grammatology If be contradictory would therefore for Saussure. complacent of over the birth than the one that presides and imitation Saussurian linguistics. the rights of history. follows system between about the relationship who said basically the same thing a more subtle. function and techng. All this refers. excluded without damage from the system Proposing as his theme "the representation of language by writing" is "unrelated Saussure thus begins that writing by positing 233. beyond the nature/ concept culture to a supervening between opposition. from the interiority of the system (for it must be believed that there is an inside of the language). under the form of the arbitrary and on a base of naturalism. such External/internal." of "image" exteriority compromising with the entire and "inside. of oppositions which necessarily Plato. (p. theory painting. the condition of linguistics is that the field of linguistics scientificity it be a system that have hard and fast frontiers. and being had at least (or idea).. whose ultimate physis not to recognize haps to derive and.

(p. the evil of or the threat the fact The contamination (275a). as if writing of writing is seen as coming from without the Phaedrus. at the moment of "notation" and befalling it from without. or marginally. tool to what is even an imperfect to utensils. that one attributes would thus have the exteriority Writing and a dangerous. 233. 243. as an to consider in spite of all wishes. limitation to the scientific of the exigency by a mere happy convenience. the living the interiority into self-presence breaking to lends the help that of the soul within the true speech logos. strongly the language of accidents as a series external affecting history. most of its the gravest. system. by writing. better One understands almost why. figuration. of the the internal and even of restoring system protecting. argumentation at a sort more than a moral fault: more than a theoretical error." principle of the and protect to respect the integrity is precisely writing it does not of the language. original entry technique. opposition. a of the outside assault an archetypal violence. succeed so. aims at vehement Saussure's itself. of by the very possibility epistemological exigency to and by the exteriority writing of the "notation" phonetic internal logic. "to simply it impossible that double? disregard" Why does he judge of"3 what is nevertheless "make abstraction Eliterally designated of language? to the inside even with respect as the abstract thozuh Writing. that exiled that that external outside. autonomy heard when. the linguist from Geneva." in general. at the it is as if. attack This tone began to make itself the within and the logos the episteme the moment of already tying same possibility. instead maleficent. too is not on that point Saussure But let us not simplify: to would he give so much attention Why else quite complacent. technique. of the soul. is itself as the That exigency "internal constituted.134 Derrida of It is not by chance that the exclusive consideration a response of the to the exigencies writing phonetic permits The basic functional of phonetic "internal system. inner is to its unrelated system. cp. We cannot to represent language. and dangers (p. with We must be acquainted it. . of what Saussure in the course that even to corrupt menace. at a heresy. its would come into of the logos moment when the modern science to it became necessary and its again scientificity. upon the inside. even if in fact "internal system" in doing The Saussurian does not respond. or preacher of the moralist are denounced in the accents by it. The tone counts. cp. system. Thus incensed. the Phaedrus as the intrusion denounced writing a forced of a totally of an artful sort. 45) in Already began and ended with notation. of treating in an appendix exterior this figuration at the opento it nearly so laborious a chapter Saussure devotes a question of outlining than of It is less ing of the Cours . phenomenon. 44) shortcomings. used continually disregard simply its usefulness. in the purity concept language against to which has not ceased contamination most permanent perfidious.

a disguise" 301. restore its absolute and the purity of its before youth. Malebranche sequence (p. 51)Ep. speech and writing. sensible matter and artificial a Writing. (concept or sense) to the phonic the natural would condition signifier to speech. by the good word: obscures it is not a guise for language but "Writing language. but which is curiously. had taken since nothing Here too. Strange "image. but simple is. exteriority: It has sometimes been contested that speech clothed "clothing. anything The meaning of the outside was always within exteriority. . One already sus(p. the graphic form Cimage] of words strikes . Sin has been defined and by Kant--as of the inversion among others by Malebranche the natural between the soul and the body through relationship Saussure at the inversion of the natural here points passion. one gave in to ease. 253. It is not a simple relationship speech the letter.-that the simple and original--relationships between is. imprisoned Thus a science of language must recover the natural." Saussure "the bond of sound" says. a festival mask that must be exorcised. a dress of corruption and disguise." if writing that is "image" and exterior pects "figuration. present the inside. as usual. and vice versa. that is to say warded off. bears The outside with "representation" the inside a relationship that as usual." this is not innocent. between and writing. external to speech. Therefore there would be a natural of relationships order between and graphic linguistic signs. on the side of technical and not within the artifice inclination of the natural or deviated: movement thus thwarted First. has the sensible analogy: writing. And the problem of soul and body is no doubt derived logos. a history and a fall which has perverted the relationships between outside and inside. to the historico-metaphysical According preevoked there would be first a natural bond suppositions above. that was Adam's "distraction. Saussure. has it ever been doubted that writing was the clothing of speech? For Saussure it is even a garment of perversion and debaucherie. outside the outside.Linguistics and Grammatology 135 of stain and primarily often-at a sin. . of ease the temptation explained original and idleness. 47)[p. origin. Husserl. But thought. and it is the theoretician of the arbitrariness of the sign who reminds us of it. of sense to the senses to that passes from sense and it is this sound: "the only true bond." Lavelle have all questioned it. 46) p. relationship (visible writing image) subordinating It is this natural that has been inverted relationship by the original sin of script: "The graphic form Cimag e manages to force itself them at the expense the of sound . sin as inattention. no efficacy. This natural bond from the signified (p. to breath. that between an inside and an outside.and upon natural is reversed" 253. from the problem of writing to which it seems--conversely--to lend its metaphors." by that nothing alone before the innocence of the divine the word: culpable latter exerted no force. It must is. place. as the body and been considered tradition always by occidental matter and to the to the spirit. inscription.

turn the speculum seems in its and perverting effect." gives a certain letter must be pronounced Saussure: "Whoever says that a certain the written image of a sound for the way is mistaking . which "manages Representato the point where one with what it represents. reference an infinite and images. is main role" "Script (p. it is bizarre but the representation nothing more care to the determining of the image than to the object. a simple a spring. and a difference. 47)Cp." throughout phenomenon too? a bad nature. What can look at itself becomes to its of the origin the law of the addition representation. italics mine)cp. of orithe noint In this play of representation. gin becomes ungraspable. one makes at least that one plus the thing to its image. the image. of a usurpation of to the natural essence blindness with the theoretical coupled bond between the "instituted at any rate to the natural language. one thinks speaks A of the representer." effaces that which ties by imposture." the "cry of nature" signs" language "But the spoken word is so intimately Saussure: Discourse). institution. . double. Ebizarrerie] One] attributeEs] the oddity sound itself 30] . 52)Cp. pronunciation" is indeed the intimacy able and fascinating image and intertwining invertto the point where by a mirroring. political that was for example. . What is intolerto an exceptional (p. sequence . speech ing. 253. but also of a simple By Rousseau origin. italics mine)cp. of a rupture with nature. There is no longer a source. graph and phone. more than the shadow or reflection nothing the between and a nefarious complicity promiscuity dangerous narbe seduced itself which lets and the reflected reflection. (Second to usurp the bound to its written image that the latter manages Rousseau: 243. to usurp the main role. sense to sound.-of three. that one of speech. thing. In fact and "fictitious" "superficial" a good nature and "easy." Fidelity of the with the fatal violence that has always associated writing as with Rousseau It is clearly a matter. of sound (p.-is the that install and theoretical The historical oddity usurpation as the forgettinr are determined of reality the rights image within The disfor Saussure. to the tradition the "thought-sound. longer and not only as an addiis split'in For what is reflected itself the The reflection.136 Derrida us as being son ething and stable. cissistically. of voice and "the first of man. 45. Though it creates a purely fictitious throughout the superficial bond of writing is m uch easier unity. origin. of the speculation The origin what it doubles. splits is not one. but no from one to the other. to grasp than the only true Enaturel] the bond bond. . like There are things reflecting pools. foris that people "The result is hardly anagrammatic: placement and the to write to speak before they learn get that they learn of 25]. of its to itself tion image. 46. better pernanent suited than sound to account for the unity of language time." of writing. better suited than sound to account for the permanent of language is that not a natural unity time. tion mingles were as if the represented as one writes. form of words strikes That "the graphic us as being something and stable. The violence is reversed" natural (p.

were constantly sounds. 253. . and the prop provided by is still writing. "Thus language does have a definite custom. by the "influence of the written form" (ibid). as the humanists them. to imagination.Linguistics and Grammatology 137 a mnemotechnic means. take in this when they are taken area. have let themselves be fascinated 46) Cp. is imbut this the sounds without possible first of what studying is language. by writing. As necessary system preamble to itself. . appears and the arts" "The sciences have elected to live within this their has consecrated and violence. are only vague notions. but the influence of the written our seeing form prevents Eprestige3 We are thus not blind this." the As usual. His immediate into fell successors the same had already Rousseau to the the same reproach addressed trap. preferable. Without the writing. Its violence befalls as unconthe soul sciousness. The first who knew nothing about the linguists. the auxiliary aide-memoire to speech the living because and it is a mediation memory. to exactly comparing writing as hypomnesis to mneme." "corrupted again anagrammatizes Rousseau: "The literary adds to the undeserved language impor." to the visible. signifies forgetfulness. has always of the right The sense "Usurpation" begun. though deceptive. of articulated physiology into a trap. reversing of writing an innocent does not befall why the violence language. the art of speech seems to be very little more than the art of writing. . loosening their falling grip . what Plato said in the Phaedrus. they are culpable. they have yielded to sensibility. this tradition will not consist of Deconstructing of making writing Rather of showing innocent. linguists and writing. spontaneous memory. already side in a mythological effect of return. . supplanting It is memory. into the "trap" they have fallen (p. 47) When linguists become embroiled in a theoretical misCp. the the natural one must first disassemble storing We read a little on: further trap. had done before language just Even Bopp . but blinded by the "The first confused dazzled visible. sounds from their apart graphic symbols. Writing. presence soul within the logos. [to them. is the dissimulation of Writing the natural. is artifice in nature. their fault is above all moral. tance of writing Thus writing assumes undeserved importance C ne importance a laquelle elle n'a pas droit]" (p. 25] of writing. in. and immediate of sense to the primary. . good forgetting. "progress" forgetfulness manners Saussure Cmoeurs3. Forgetfulness the departure of the logos from itself. To substitute what is natural for what immediately is artificial would be desirable. writing." Grammarians: "For the Grammarians. . to passion. There is an originary of writing is violence because language in a sense to be revealed first. and stable oral tradition that is independent of writing. progressively. latter would remain in itself. of that stable [prestiqe] that second nature. dissimulated This explains "trap" why The Course in General this treats strange first Linguistics external to rethat is writing. it.

like Writing. meant losing ground. would thus The inversion of the natural relationships Ep. of the letter-image: sin of have engendered the perverse cult for the letter. and a of the body over the soul. as I have just It is to give in to passion." Saussure "The tyranny (p. and the multiplying kept away from the notations must be avoided: of diacritical signs Are there a phonologic for substituting grounds in use? Here I can for a system already alphabet I think this that subject. 1-2]. As one knows. Germans. I weigh my word--that and critiSaussure passion--and analyzes cizes as a moralist and a psychologist of a very old here. of the linguist. of the Leibnizian The characteristic type and Esperanto would be here in the same position. 53) pathological" says. 32] it means 55.] in the direction of truth step (p. The advantages would not was designed be sufficient to compensate for the inconveniences. a "phoneme anterior of artifice to all writing. tradition. interesting only broach be for the use of should writing phonological how would it be possible First. rationality must be That is why common orthography and monstrousness. participates from nature. 31]. is a passibity mastery passion The of the soul. the chapter on Phonology) Ep." The perversion one all artificial monsters. irritation Saussure's "A with such possibilities drives him to pedestrian comparisons: man proposing a fixed that posterity would have to accept language for what it is would be like a hen hatching a duck's egg" (p. etc. system! applicable would probably be weighed to all down languages and--to marks. 111) And Saussure to save not only the natural wishes life cp. life of language. linguists to make the English. 14) cp. adopt a uniform an alphabet Next." Saussure says in the idolatry. but the natural habits Spontaneous of scientific must be protected. French. 53) Cp. language" the That tyranny is at bottom says elsewhere (p. 763. the introduction Thus. sickness on speech of writing is "wrong [vicieusel. said. . 313. in to the "prestige to give of the written form" is. case. tion.138 Derrida on the a first ing of letter to me. of writing. of the say nothing by diacritical of a page of phonological distressing appearance to gain precision would obviously writing--attempts the reader what the writing confuse by obscuring to express.4"superstition in proving of where he has difficulty the existence Anagrams. exigencies must into and the taste for exactitude ordinary writing phonetic In this would bring desolabe avoided. Open- For Saussure. death. only. is tyrannical and enslaving: passion criticism is still on one point: it deficient "Philological follows the written and neglects the living language slavishly of writing. engenders languages would wish to fix and remove from the living of the natural history It is a deviation in this monstrousness: language. moral perversion is pathological." effect reciprocal are really "such mistakes Saussure (p.

of a radical speaking. Cit] cannot or defend Citself3" protect the other ) (6uvcaT6q pBv acivxi txur&t except through expelling and especially its own other. pious violence of a speech its full dreaming self-presence. as I shall do further and a priori on. is not elaborated. the truth of what Saussure in such a tone. by excluding. concerning of language system outline the limits of its field as general. important and were it in fact universal or called upon to become so. Usurpation necessarily . . "parent ( Tou axTp6q &ec 6eLTTL --Phaedrus be born out of a 275d) must therefore Po-qou it to wanderprimary gap and a primary expatriation. completely and violent "for . The limits have of general already begun to appear: Why does a project linguisthe internal in general in tics. . what he denounces speech as the blind of classical or common experience prejudice linguists indeed a blind remains on the basis of a general prejudice. on the level on which he says it. 57) is not very Cp. Self-proclaimed language deluded into believing itself speech. phenomena in mathematical or in punctuation. said. infirm at not being able to respond when one questions it and since its is [always] needed" which. living itself as its own resumption. exteriority system howeyer it might be. condemning to mourning. Saussure's reasons are good. it outside and below. And as long says as an explicit a critique of the relationships problematics. autoself-proclaimed language. Declaration wish and historical language. but ing and blindness. speaks. which is no doubt common to the accused and the presupposition prosecutor. I do not question. the "usurpation" of which Saussure the Finally. violence would substitute for its itself own by which writing for that which ought not only to have engendered it but origin. That a speech alive can lend itself to supposedly in its own writing is what puts it originarily in relaspacing tion to its own death. to have been engendered from itself. particular writing is ever totally faithful to its Even before practice principle.--such a reversal of power cannot be an accidental aberration. being discourse. actually alive. of helping a logos which believes itself to be its own itself. simply of writing. capable. But however it might be. one can already remark its massive necessary infidelity. between and writing. a particular in general. lifted thus above written infans and father. that model which is phonetic no does not exist. of a speech declared Socrates production alive. throwing under the name of writing. even were it to be in fact universal? important A particular which has precisely for its principle or system at least for its declared to be exterior to the spoken project of principle. 343 desirable I hope my intention I think is clear. in spacing in script which it is difficult to consider as accessories general. I would rather announce the limits and the presuppositions of what seems here to be self-evident and what seems to me to retain the character and validity of evidence.Linguistics and Grammatology 1 139 exactitude Phonological outside science (p. of writing.

permanence no longer which are precisely calls forth false. psychologist" and "natural" the privilege bond between the phone and the sense. descriptions be will never of psychology. invites be problematized as such. and teleological determination and the for the "usurpation" to account On the other hand. it to of crisis of what ties that should be suspect.1 40 ^o~~140 ~Derrida refers us to a profound of essence. 33) Cp. upon and of intuitive consciousness. By one entire of his text. primitivism. and very superficial the classical of "passion. teleology Even and a preformalist mathematical intuitionism. "To determine the exact of semiology is the task of the place The affirmation of the essential (p. to explain of of the substance of duration. determines Saussure Like Husserl. Besides. Husserl makes us think the negativity that aspect But it is then the concept of the crisis is not a mere accident. absence two absences. possibility and the production of Bdeal objectivity: of truth very movement it has in fact an essential need for writing. clear presence of the signified in its and thus opens the possibitruth. Writing about the affirmed is it not contradictory to what is elsewhere more] "a definite and [far of language tradition oral having of writing" is indendeedent tradition that stable oral (p. by means of the durabilZity . 46) the usurpation by means of writing's power [p. the province within Psychology the within its that which constitutes able to accommodate space of the to say nothing of the absence of the signatory. lity with the for Husserr. reduced psychology a determined semiolinside sector linguistics." argument origin of the written not to be simply of the solid thing. beyond This best to its most conventional schemata. is the name of these referent. 163. it. Nevera crisis of crisis. to an order the major accorded of signifier then becomes (which and in conof all other signified depend expressly. and it is right crisis transitory a preconsider to be an Occidental this ethnocentrism. by virtue a dialectical of negativity. why all explains of psychology: is placed under the authority'and supervision ogy. this linked remains theless. The scandal of "usurpation" How was the trap and us expressly and intrinsically to do that. if this it should to some absolute teleology responds necessity. never to this Saussure the usurpation replies question possible? a a psychology of the passions or of the imagination. tuition teleologically also for example--is written mathematical notation--in technique for Husserlian us far from the intuitionism that which exiles that is to say from the full evidence of the sense. of the The empty symbolism as crsiis. This is indeed of the logos. 241. perhaps the system of the spoken with Saussure confronts language the system of phonetic as with (and even alphabetic) writing the telos of writing. This teleology to the interpretaleads of the non-phonetic as tion of all within writing eruptions and accident to of passage. of consciousness a psychology here is the essential does not question What Saussure possibility non-inthis of non-intuition. This is without possibility a doubt inscribed itself within have quesand he should speech tioned even started from it. signifiers) of the Saussurian levels to the other tradiction discourse.

practices in the pronunciation mistakes of many French words. way. or. interior. where written only in highly literary languages texts role. deviation nature. separating a its into outside its is catastrophe. 24]. really and a u that was the result Now. as if Saussure wishes the corrupat the same time to demonstrate tion of speech to denounce the harm that the latter by writing. there were two spellings for the surname one popular and simple. even within a "special scientific comparttreatments. 31]. ment" that holds within a it at a distance? For it is indeed wants sort of intra-linguistic that Saussure to conleper-colony tain of deformations and concentrate the problem writing. The function assumed in Rousseau's within discourse is here delegated (as we shall see). are independent of writing" independence "Languages is Such is the truth of nature. naturitself. does to the former. the transdetermine that and why should operation formation be only a deformation? the mother-tongue Why should its not have a history. with a b that has never existed Lefebure. its the origin and its pendent. of Chapter Let us cite the entire conclusion VI of the Course which of Language"). itself By imposing upon the masses. 53-54) pronounced Where is the evil? And what has been invested in the "living that such "aggressions" of writing are insupportable? What word. without ever affected Why wish to punish being by any outside? to reserve for a monstrous of wanting to the point crime. a natural natural event that overthrows nature. images are really cause Spelling pathological." the constant of writing investment action by determining begins and an aggression? as a deformation What prohibition has thus been transgressed? Where is the sacrilige? the Why should of writing? be protected from the operation mother tongue Why as a violence. ally gathering or monstrosity. autistic. what comes to the same thing. latter form is actually Ep. writing for it. Then visual play an important such mistakes lead to wrong pronunciations. 45) Ep. produce and domestic own history in a perfectly natural. the of ambiguity. And yet nature (p. inside. by the catastrophe to monstrousness. (p. Nature itself.Linguistics and Grammatology 141 If these two "stabilities" were of the same nature and writing? if the stability of the spoken and indewere superior language of writing. ("Graphic Representation must be compared to Rousseau's text on Pronunciation: But the tyranny of writing goes even further. through . supposed "prestige' would remain an inexplicable harmfulness It seems then mystery. faber). an overturning it in affected--from which modifies without--by its from and obliges it to be separated denatures it. v and u were not kept avart Because Lefebvre the old system was read as of writing. denaturing from itself. spelling This happens and modifies influences language. and natural the inalterable and to underline of language. Lefevre (from latin Lefevre and learned the other and etymological: in Lefebvre. For instance.

. makes of visibility simple. 251. bzt do not stem from its tions to language belong natural functioning. Instead affirms dismissing to be which ought it constantly that nature and institution uses. 54. the concepts It is clear that permanence. "Mispronunciand will due to spelling ations appear more frequently probably as time goes on. speech and minute more attentive vestiture. the number of letters by speakers pronounced the in the same context. As in Rousseau will increase. it rein its it is problematic in its content. are pessimistic: and its accents is not "natural"." Strange example. .unrelated to the phonic sign" it will soon occupy This affirmation us. as the natural the audible in considering Above all. 7].142 Derrida that he wrould take the innocent to be convinced And. and most imporIt finally the two. within Cp. side and inside linguistic in their from fact essence as it does not rigorously distinguish . between the relationships which here assist thinking duration. italics cp. it thus confuses done first. relaof some natural all possibility excludes this explanation it at the very moment that and writing between speech tionship of the notions of deliberately it. and articumust naturally which language within milieu fragment its thus exercising its instituted late arbitrariness. according beto visual "most people simply impressions pay more attention than aural and more lasting are sharper impressions" cause these is not only of "usurpation" This explanation (p. 46) Cp. and of the body proper language element and essential the tangible. teratological and of fixity. signs. femmes 'seven sept it is indeed that one must stop in order history separation--for to protect from writing--will only widen: language Darmsteter two the day when even the last foresees will be pronounced--truly letters of vingt 'twenty' deformaSuch phonic an orthographic monstrosity. disproved constantly It imprudently as language. of script" "illusions First and presuppositions limits What do these signify? outits as long as it defines is not general a linguistics that as long in terms of determined models. (p. They are due to an external a should put them into influence. in order all Lefeasked very ill--for after that we have just questions us read this bure is not a bad name and we can enjoy play--let to us that the "play" The passage below explains the following. Linguistics for observation: they are compartment special cases mine) (p." probably in the 't' "Some Parisians is accused: pronounce already Capital The historical women'. inuncritical are too lax and open to every and writing. 21) the of the Saussurian the other side denouncing proposition comes to the fore. analyThey would require to which to an explanation The same is applicable ses. to which affirmation the capital contradicts according tantly is de la langue] Cl'essentie constitues that "the thing language of the linguistic character . empirical faculof sensory and to an old physiology to a metaphysics fers of as by the experience ties by science. of writing. 31-32]. form.

is that within which logocentric writing determining metaphysics. and the functioning of the image except within the system from which one wishes to exclude it be reconsidered. We glimnse the germ of a profound but indirect explanation of usurpation and of the traps condemned VI. unless it is granted that the division between exterior and interior the interior of the interior or the exterior of passes through the exterior. it within What was chased itself. able in that the seeing. as I announced it is when he is not above. The system of writing in genrespective degrees eral is not exterior to the system of language in general. as the origin of language writes itself within Saussure's discourse. and the permanent insufficiency usurpation) as instrument and technique of representation of a system of And that this in style. This logothis has always in centrism. . signs.73. 23) Cp. has indeed never ceased to haunt language as its primary and most intimate which Something possibility. to the point where the immanence of language is to the intervention of forces that are essentially exposed alien to its For the same reason. refer to one sign. with writing. moment--will become inevitable. suspended. limiting of language in general system by a bad abstraction. apparently system. prevents Saussure and the majority of his successors from determining and explicitly that which is called and con"the integral fully crete of linguistics" object (p. opens the field Which will not only no longer be excluded general grammatology. But conversely. reasons. leaning It is this the internal writing. was so prolanguage. epoch of the full speech. the logic. unique found that it permitted the thinking. of conwithin language. like those cepts langutechnique. writing in general is not "image" or "figuration" of language in general. logocentrism which. tree reflection on the origin and status of writing. being following entire a certain is that model of writing tradition. of fact. of the sign. The system of language associated with phonetic-alphabetic age. the sense of being as presence. outthe wandering cast of linguistics. metaphysical was necessarily but provisionally (but for the inaccuracy imposed in principle. has been produced. was never and which is nothing other than writing itself spoken. and if "sign of a sign" writsigns signifies certain I shall conclusions--which at the approconsider ing. if the nature. movement. off limits. in Chapter This explanation will overthrow even the form of the question to which it was a premature reply. all science of writing which was not technology and the history of a techniitself and a metaphor of a natural upon a mythology que.Linguistics and Grammatology 143 of generality. is not a sign of a sign. What Saussure saw without priate knew without to realize. if one Writing says except it of all which would be more profoundly If all true. when he feels he has closed the expressly dealing on that that Saussure of a parentheses subject. from general but will dominate it and will contain linguistics. representation. placed and suppressed for essential all parenthesis.

before the possiof the sign--is unthinkable the arbitrariness and outside of its horizon. as unmotivated written. pure signifier) Now it was inbids that the latter be an "image" of the former. in general covers writing a certain of linguistic In that field the entire field signs. between phonic signifiers and their signifieds in relationship the relationship and between each determined signifier general. ordered by a certain even if they with other instituted--hence "written. We must conclude that only the signs called natural. tribution play of their differences. sort of instituted signifiers may then appear. among signifiers If "writing" and especially signifiers. of course. its determined signified would be "arbitrary. or orders of dination. signifier-signified. outside and the spatial disas the opening to the emission inscription." a "representation." of nature and in using this opposition Let us now persist a of physis and nomos (which also means. as gramthat Hegel and Saussure call "symbols. bility outside the world as space of of the horizon itself. particularly those tics." of language." . of the reality reflection an exterior uration." escape semiology of linguisthe field outside But they fall a fortiori matology. of writing as "external to the exclusion system. and not only for the reasons Saussure himself recognizes)8 must forbid a radical distinction between the linguistic and the No doubt this thesis concerns only the necessity graphic sign. spoken. in fact by law) which a and division. institution." Now from the moment that one considers of dethe totality termined signs. a fortiori." dispensable or a "figthat it come to impose an "image. "graphic" in the narrow and derivative sense of the word. and. and signibetween specific Only these relationships signifiers fieds would be regulated Within the "natural" by arbitrariness. but by the same token it forand the grapheme. signifies inscription the durable institution of a sign (and that is the only irreducible kernel of the concept of writing). of relationships between specific and signifieds withsignifiers in an allegedly natural between the voice and sense relationship in general. that of writing Quite simply." relationship The very idea of institution--hence of are "phonic"--signifiers. the bond of sound"). of the arThe thesis tics as the region of general semiology. successfully between the phoneme and the grapheme conventional relationship between the phoneme.144 ~~~~144 ~Derrida The Outside j the Inside of the arbitrariness The thesis of the sign (so grossly misanmed. contests but irrevocably of the sign thus indirectly bitrariness to the outer declared intention when he chases writing Saussure's accounts for a This thesis darkness of language. (in phonetic writing. to the regulated of signs. is. any natural hierarchy. between the order of phonic signifiers and the content of the signifieds ("the only true bond. even if they are "phonic. suborone must exclude any-relationship of natural institutions. distribution regulated should disturb meditation on writing everyalthough it functions of linguisin the discourse where as self-evident.

producing itself in a near-oneiric the dream it clarifies way--although to be clarified a conrather than allow itself by it--through How is this with all articulated tradictory logic? functioning of science? of theoretical the history discourse. the Saussurian of writing as definition as natural Unless the pho"image"--hence symbol--of language. my is not primarily Ferdinard de Saussure's intention or quarry the entire which he but rather uncritical tradition motivation. What matters here is by historians that in the synchronic structure and systematic of alprinciple in general--no relationphabetic writing--and phonetic writing none of resemblance or particiship of "natural" representation. system open. sense. In fact. signifiers. One must therefore in the very name of the arbichallenge. of all psychology sciences defined outside (as of all or "structuralist"). says about the difference between the symbol and the sign (p. Saussure was never able to think was that writing quite a "figuration. 68-691 in order to be completely baffled as to how he can at the same time say of writing that it is an "image" or "figuration" of and define and writing as "two diselsewhere language language tinct of signs" of For the property systems (p. throughout of science how does it shape from within Better the concept yet. relationship implied. 45) Ep. to all possible investments of sense. Representation was not at all When I say this.Linguistics and Grammatology 145 It matters here at least. that also By a process engaged Freud in The Interpretation Saussure thus accumulates of Dreams. relationship no "iconographic" in the Peircian be sense. Saussurian example . to bring about a satisfactory decision: contradictory arguments the exclusion of writing. even within so-called phonetic the "graphic" refers to the phoneme writing. trariness of the sign. 101) Cp. no "symbolic" in the Hegelian-Saussurian pation. If one considers that he nonetheless needed notions these to decide inadequate upon the exteriority of writing.when the concepts required by this functioning of man)." of the spoa "representation" truly ken language.--it of a text of the articulated the probelm allegiance rigorously to a whole: I obviously the or otherwise) treat (theoretical a telling text at the moment only as an index." an "image. To what zone of discourse does this functionstrange this coherence of desire ing of argumentation belong. We must begin with the possibility of that total system. a symbol. Language"). through sigto other written a "total" and oral within nifiers. 23]. scientific. that is in fact an little. the sign is not to be an image. neme is the unimaginable and no visibility can resemble itself. signifier a web of many dimensions which binds like all it. one must conclude that an entire of his disstratum of Chapter VI ("Graphic of the intention course. let us say. inherits. it is itself? It is only when this is elaborated--if question are some day--. This important ideographic question is much debated of writing. it suffices to take into account what Saussure it. there filiation of the alphabet. can now be "Marxist" outside (which metaphysics and when one is able to respect all its levels of generality be able to pose is only then that one will articulation.

of For us. absence world as such. possibility as is announced other a synthesis in which the completely quires or such--without any resemblance any identity. all the radical the occidental posing question of analysis. 101) Cp. reading. to incision. possibility as the being-prehas defined of the existent. metaphysics--within methods of writing. professing I have just of which required by the functioning My spoken. from the occulted sent starting . systems dewill toward nification. signified referring of the inof the graph implies the instance the concept by it. trace The instituted not it "should Like the word "arbitrary" according to Saussure. of writing. is not a metaphysical within the presence This formula. The absence variations among the full of the of another transcendental now. field in the entire its articulates other is marked. system the be thought without trace cannot The instituted thinking where a structure of reference retention of difference within of a certain difference as such and thus permits liberty appears here-andof another terms. not being its or its terior "image" "symbol. interior to speech. for a scientific substituted concept that it is the questioning of metaphysics beside the fact itself. of sigas the possibility common to all stituted trace. would be as follows: this and some other indices justification a general the treatment of the concept of writing) al(in way means of broaching the de-construction ready give us the assured of the greatest of the episteme and logoconcept totality--the without ever centric which are produced. These oppositions have meaning only after reof the sign The "unmotivatedness" of the trace. of aniall levels through passing living" up to "consciousness. speaker" (p. of the describes the structure implied by the "arbitrariness of its short from the moment that one thinks sign.146 Derrida a given within without to use the concepts situation. of another origin present. explication." Even which is already in itself a writing. continuity--within as such: Is announced as "nonfrom what metaphysics has defined we have all history. is "unmotivated" but not capricious. etc." possibility and convention. any simplicity. now be directed slowly My efforts from two concepts from the classical discourse these taching borrow them. which metaphysics The trace movement of the trace. engraving. the clasnot be too quicklyinterpreted within stitution" should sical of oppositions. will be laborious The effort which I necessarily that its will never be pure and we know a priori effectiveness and absolute. or the letit is linked before drawing. Now we must think is at the same time more exthat writing and more to speech. The trace. to the of the signifier the choice is left entirely imply that attachit has no "natural Simply. 68-693. in general to a signifier to a signifier ter. or interpretation." with the where the relationship mal organization. itself as irreducible presenting appearing formula of the trace. in question "natural attachment" the idea of naturalthat puts That is why the word "inness rather than that of attachment. there what is not it. the rupture within ment" to the signified reality. between nature symbol of the derived opposition the and sign.

is necessarily it produces trace itself as self-occultaocculted. is neither does not say would have to be said: there symbol nor of the symbol. the notion unmotivated to that of the sign which Saussure a role preopposes analogous to the symbol: cisely being by development grow." its is indefinitely trace there trace:the is no unmotivated fact. involving concepts.Linguistics and Grammatology 147 must be thought before But the movement of the the existent. sign but a becoming-sign I speak whereof the trace as it goes without Also. or the is not more natural is not the mark. except the movement of temporwith the other. bilities--genetic of its "as of the other that is to say the dissimulation as such. In Saussurian language. tal signs If a man makes a of them are called concepts. what Saussure own becoming-unmotivated. In of the trace has always become." begun and no structure already it. self This formulation is not as one might believe somewhat hastily. here of the symbol playing of the symbol. starting biological and with it all of the sign. Peirce The mistake with two apparently complies here would be to sacrifice exigencies. the immotivation "nature. the symbol parts are of mixed nature. to the diverse is structured according possiThe presentation and structural--of the trace. the natural (it sign. In his terminology. only in signs. escapes from That is why the movement of "unmotivatedness" passes of one structure the stage when the "sign" to the other passes to a certhe "symbol. not more physical index in the Husserlian than culturaZ. motivated trace connects within the same possibility. and its the ulterior between other. incompatible It must one for the other. and without the strucof separation the possibility by abstraction. of this to the irreducibility than Saussure attentive becomingone must speak of a becomingunmotivated. Without and language referring alization. When the other itself as such. So it is only out of symbols that a new symbol can Omne symbolum de symbolo. does hot--at provi"symbol" of the unThe general structure sionally--interest semiology. announces in the dissimulation of itself. . The field being field of presence. from which a becoming-unmotivated is possible. particularly of icons of the nature from mixed signs partaking These menWe think and symbols.9 grow. oppositions physis In his project Peirce seems to have been more of semiotics. The "theotheological. They come into Symbols or out of other from icons." It is in a certain and according sense tain determined of the "as such" that one is authorized structure calls to say that is yet no immotivation in what Saussure there lease and which according to him. sense) It is that than spiritual. before determined trace. signs. ture of the relationship back to a as writing. than psychic. it presents ittion. saying. it is by thoughts new symbol. movement of the is a determined moment in the total logical" as the of the existent. of the existent has always such.

a production. The has three branches. depends as I bein its is only a semiotics: is. logic proper may be true. and not a fundamental only a determined would it is most thought-provoking. to "mean. and one must apply level. non-formal the classical logic sense. stop there correof logic of the possibility the foundation (or semiotics) of Thomas of the Grammatica to the project sponds speculative Like Husserl. commanded by the value occupies As in Husserl level. sense. by development particularly . and the coming into it foundation under the play being to Peirce. . refers Peirce expressly which a discourse of conditions doctrine a formal both cases. although (but the analogy. Omne symbolum de that only out of symbols symbolo. "Symbols out of other come into being signs. the lowest it carefully). if it is false morphology of all is independent logic vouloir-dire) (Bedeutung. meaning10 of truth. "Logic. old associations Kant's of of preserving fashion nomenclature words in finding for new conceptions. the Its task is to ascertain I call pure rhetoric. birth gives sign another. It is the science of what is quasi-necessariproper. The science of semiotic is caZled speculativa. doctrine the quasi-necessary. object." or formal. general name for semiotics I have shown. on logic. inof any scientific ly true of the representamina that in order they may hold good of any telligence Or say. or from mixed signs But these the structural of the field of symbols. compromise originality "So it is of a domain. what must be true of the representamen ascertain in order used by every scientific intelligence is logic The second that they may embody any meaning." roots must not from icons. in order must satisfy of that The general or contradictory." even in order to have a sense. in And logic of signs. science is the formal of the truth of the conditions in imitation The third." from sign refers But in both cases. lieve only another (C0tleLWTwXL). . arbitrariness anterior and related order of signification: They grow. of of representations. that is. It is a matter to it.148 Derrida be recognized that the symbolic sense: that of "the (in Peirce's is rooted in an of the sign") in the non-symbolic. grammatica by Duns Scotus first task to It has for its We may term it pure grammar. attributed d'Erfurt. to Duns Scotus. forth 1 brings thought . no longer Semiotics according Logic. one intelliaence la7ws by which in every scientific one and especiaZZiy to another. the genetic root-system as insignito sign. speaking. falsely in of elaborating. and a play: the autonomy a new symbol can grow." logic "properly that semiotics within of truth. No ground of non-signification--understood out to give of a present truth--stretches or an intuition ficance of signs.

I have identified and the metalogocentrism of presence as the exigent. this refers (its object) interpretant in turn a sign. for such a signified. only in signs. One that "the idea of may read in the Principle of Phenomenology is the idea of a sign. proximate self a reThe represented is always (prope. difference between Husserl's and Peirce's is phenomenologies fundamental it concerns since the concept of the sign and of the manifestation of presence. manifestaa presence. would place a reassuring end to the reference from sign to sign.Linguistics and Grammatology 149 Peirce I have called that the goes very far in the direction deconstruction of the transcendental at one which. could call the absence of the transcendental as signifier play of play. It is not surprising theology . and so on ad infinitum. 13 From the moment that are nothing but is meaning there there We think Which amounts to ruining the nosigns.. its is recognized in the absoluteness One of its exigency right. already "thing from the simplicity of intuitive shielded evidence. proprius). impossible. presentamen which determines else (its Anything something to refer to an object to which itself interpretant) in the same way. to be as a structure from itself. desire Now Peirce considers repressible the indefiniteness of reference as the criterion us that allows to recognize that we are indeed with a system of signs. tion of the sign at the very moment when. dealing What initiates the movement of signification is what makes its interruvtion The thing An unis a sign. to be produced of reference. presentamen The representamen functions rise to an interpreonly by giving a sign tant that itself becomes and so on to infinity. already of the sign: Definition ." of things According to the "phaneroscopy" or "phenomenology" of Peirce. systematic. becoming comes to If the series of successive interpretants an end is therby the sign rendered at imperfect. whose phenomenology remains acceptable proposition therefore--in its of principles"--the and most radical "principle most critical of the metaphysics restoration The of presence. itself for IIusserl. signified.. time or another. The property is not of the representamen separated to be proper that is to say absolutely to itEpropre]. Zeast. as in Nietzsche."1 There is thus no phemanifestation the sign the thing or the representer so that nomenality reducing to glow finally of its in the luminosity signified may be allowed a reThe so-called itself" is always presence. The selfof the signified eludes our grasp through a constant identity The property of the representamen is to be itself displacement. the relationships the re-prebetween sentation and the originary of the thing itself presentation On this is undoubtedly Peirce closer to the in(truth). that limitlessness is to say as the destruction of ontoand the metaphysics of presence. tion itself does not reveal it makes a sign. point ventor of the word phenomenology: in fact to Lambert proposed "reduce the theory to the theory of signs.. and another. and irphysics powerful.

before of writing science grammatology speech would abwhich linguistics within field a vast would thus cover Saussure that with the limits own area. or metaphysical ist. in the worlds14 all the forms of play ing to understand the of the game.. (or those who. we are within From the very opening beto this With regard of the symbol.150 Derrida lets since that the shock. condemned within (277e) (The Phaedrus writing preciselanguage. its origin. then. . science a to existence. which would be anything By a substitution in the program of the semiology by grammatology may replace Course in General Linguistics: the Since . its delineate stractly reand which must be carefully internal to its system prescribes in the world and history. . and transcendental the ontological To think probplay radically of the the question be seriously lematics must first exhausted." trariness and in speech.. following or some other local to psychology refer semantics discipline). thought gravity (spoude) as it is not a play in the world. of speech). the laws science a part of Ethat] general be applicable will discovered by Egrammatology] . a deas an active and not as a state. but it has a right would be. of the immotivation science of the sign. It would not be able to command a grammatology rived. . metaphysics undermining to bind linitself be named as such in the period when. of play also tradition and as the theoreticians the philosophical and going beyond it consider Bloomfield. guistics the problem outside still of meaning to Hjemslev. the transcendental signified. meaning of the world--must the world-ness of the world--of dental origin movement the critical worked through. pertinentas of the trace The immotivation ought now to be understood ly. out. of the trace. expelling refer American certain of their constantly researches. to the adult such childishness opposed ly as play--paidia--and of as absence This play. it Egrammatology3 I shall call no one can say what it does not yet exist. tradition to the pre-critical would offer ers of such a discourse but the would be nothing to and speculation metaphysical It is therefore own operation. becoming-unmotivated deis also and synchronic of diachronic the opposition coming. of containing for the purposes been defined. and of the transcenof the existent the being of being. . is only out in advance. refusing from Saussure to semantics (what all European linguists. linguists as a game Here one must think of writing to the model of a game. do). limits within remain positivregional caught that the holdThe counter-move discourse. and rigorously be patiently must be effectively and Heideggerian of the Husserlian questions and legibility effectiveness to the very end. of their worldly representation before that must be first the game of the world attemptthought. of "the arbiScience structure. and not as a given motivation. in each speech/writing examined system one but verbal. an operation movement. and their followed it the without Even if it were crossed must be conserved. by has always it. staked Linguistics place . will have recourse to which I shall of play and writing concepts and an empiricist.

68] system. the most complex and universal is also the most of all of expression. 163. of writing" by the so-called we inhabit. (p. apparently Barthes in part to the whole. 33) Cp. it continued to be regulated as comprehensive The linguistic if it were one of the areas of linguistics. by linguistics. exemplary and as the generative the master-model. It will liberrepression ate the semiological itself from what.Linguistics and Grammatology 151 to linguistics. This coherent to a "translinreversal. way. . sign remained it dominated it as the masterfor semiology. of writing or fronto language no longer relates as an extension writing on the let us ask how language founded is a possibility tier. 161--Saussure in the larger but a species Or rather. governed as if linguistics were at once its and its center organized telos." explicitness dominated for which in fact cally by logocentric metaphysics. determined as parousia. 15 tics. The advantage of this substitution will not only be to give to the theory of writing the scope to counter needed logocentric and the subordination to linguistics. science of the general it is semiology that is a part of linguisof signs. model: sign that are wholly better than realize Signs arbitrary the others the ideal of the semiological process. The Barthesian is fecund and reversal for the description of the fact and the vocation indispensable within the enclosure of this of signification eopch and this civilization in the process of disappearing in its very globalization. 33) Cp. in spite of its project theoretical remained greater extension. submitting semiology to its leads full a linguistics historiguistics. Let us now try to go beyond and architectonic these formal and concrete Let us ask in a more intrinsic considerations. Consequently. a civilization of so-called that writing. sense can belinguistics come the master-pattern for all branches of semiolis only one particular semiogy although language mine) ological (p. 101. to a how language is not merely a sort of writing. phonetic is to say of the logos where the sense of being in its is. Even though was in fact more general and more semiology than linguistics. "comparable of writing" writes curiously-system (p. since sense. telos. systems in this characteristic. italics Cp. reconsidering scribed by Saussure. that is why language. intention of the Course: of dependence the order preof the relationship inverting fact carries out the profoundest the From now on we must admit the possibility of reverssome day: is ing Saussure's linguistics proposition not a part. there is not and should not be "any meaning as named" except Dominated that "civilization (ibid). even if privileged.

pages the condition of linguistic value. a hundred and thirty as difference phonic a material viewpoint")16. to a system of writing. resources from the example it is not by chance Further.152 Derrida of writing. back to its true meaning. It supposes on the contrary a common root and thus excludes the resemblance of the "image". that. ness of the sign that we shall but to what Saudirectly. systems.18 What are. system to draw some comparisons that will writing clarify the whole issue. from the grammatological of view. And thus one would bring derivation. 17 content Once more. character of the . we definitely have to oppose to Saussure himself. That is a conclusion Saussure himself the draws against the internal of language." sign an'originary implies it is not to the thesis of the arbitrariwriting. necessity of a naturally essence of language.("from he must again borrow all his pedagogic of writing: Since an identicaZ state is observable of affairs in writing. 165) Cp. one would general possibility this. Henceforth. most important these of all italics mine) cp. as I shall is." "figin a "graph. 21) rp. appeal with it as an indispensable ssure associates and correlative which would seem to us rather to lay the foundations for it: the thesis of difference as the source of linguistic value. then." "represented. 163 that express ideas. 1191 Four demonstrative all their schemas and items. military signals. Demonstrating become aware at the same time of that "usurpation" which alleged could not be an unhappy accident. Therefore.follow. He must now premises defining system exclude the very thing thich had permitted him to exclude writing: sound and its For "true bond" with meaning. innocent and didactic which makes Saussure ently analogy say: is a system Language of signs and is therefore comparable the alphabet of deaf-mutes. or representative reflexion. symbolic polite etc. Zlien naturel example: their The thing that constitutes Zanguage to the phonic show later. another we shall use of signs. 33. borrowing from writing. to its the apparprimary possibility. rites. (p. formulas. unrelated linguistic sign (p. at the moment of explaining later. It contests by the phonic same token the supposed of the graphic natural signidependence nifier. the conpoint of this theme that is now so well-known sequences (and upon which Plato in the Sophist)? reflected already is never a sensible difference in itself By definition. 73. its the allegation contradicts plenitude. But it is the (p. or not being Before being "noted." the linguistic ured.

" to follow of those takes the phonologism who profess us beyond to him on this in fact the indifference believes Jakobson point: the phonic of expression and illegitito be impossible substance mate. . of phonic substance thus does not only permit The reduction the distinction on the one hand (and a fortiori between phonetics and or the physiology of the phonating the accoustics organs) itself an on the other. tween language and speech. It also makes of phonology phonology indicated Here the direction by Saussure "auxiliary discipline." complicity. decisive for Saussure. etc. Cis taken a "troubling of the analysis. from it: code and message. substance to be put to use. quires in the text maintain that the cited Jakobson and Halle above.Linguistics and Grammatology 153 And in a paragraph on difference: It is impossible a material elefor sound aZone. would have no to It would be the same for the oppositions that happened rigor. . Speech stock of writing. values ventional have the characteristic of not being with the tangible which supports element confused . . between schema and usage. The linguistic them. to belong to language. is not [in signifier essence] but incorporeal--constituted not by phonic its material substance but the differences that separate its others from all (p. 111) cp. is of less contains than the other sign importance that surround it. confirmed the speech by orthographic systems. (p." step for it as Jakobson and Halle would have it? Can one not account who as do the phenomenologists as a fact as an example. It is only a secondment. and contingent in parenthesis sonorous substance (as an empirical is: content) 1. as "Eli Fischer-Jorgensen exposes since. . . which reHe thus criticizes of Hjelmslev the glossematics And and practices the neutralizing of sonorous substance. descend etc. 166) Cp. 118-119]. All our conary thing. the example applies through of general semito language: are governed "Signs by a principle is this in time. that and it is here is. 333. noted or not. in time is coupled to change continuity ology: of deaf-mutes. always keeping of which is independent of an essence cal content in the reading it by right? . 164) sound-image The idea or phonic that a substance Cp. serving it always an exemplary within empirineed. 56) cp. Conclusion: bears only an auxili"Phonology--this repeating--is [of the science excluof language] and belongs ary discipline to speaking" thus draws from this sively (p. 1203 signs Without this reduction of phonic bethe distinction matter. language that one must meditate between the two "staupon the complicity of the phone reveals The reduction this bilities. impracticable at every substance into account] "the sonorous Cit]". and What Saussure in general about the sign says for example also which he "confirms" of writing. sight."18a But is that discrepancy." (p. 16].

in the of writing and invokes the secondariness factual genesis does one mastered sense: having speech "Only after colloquial commonsensical Even if this and writing. representation. features." order of exteriority. 17]. to the of Jakobson and Halle The argument appeals cp.harbors each of its lieve (since concepts to of its pertinence assurance have to receive one would still were here a facile Even if "after" the argument. of the "occasional.19 VI of the Course follows this debate. 17]? of Andre Martinet who. which remains of matter argubility The question and Halle ment of Jakobson may be (p.154 -~~~154 ~Derrida 2. relationship disregard these (p. the doctrine After substance. between of the relationships speech question of the "accessory. reproduce on which distinctive the different features is based and unfailingly the phonemic pattern the structural of. to reforming the concept to Saussure is faithful if the Jakobsonian In short." the within formulas Saussurian the literally tion that reappear the and writing. 16-171. of what. be recognized it must still thus. 116) Cp. learned to write that one learns having after suring is to conclude that what thus comes "after" would that suffice were And what if writing And what is a parasite? parasitic? about paraour logic that which makes us reconsider precisely sites? reand Halle Jakobson moment of the critique. why "a dead language having explained phonic . analysis of Chapter so to the Saussure is it not especially in this matter. the phonoall if one accepts refer? not essentially Finally. Letters never. features dissimilardoes not the radical it above: I have suggested derivation? and phonic--exclude ity of the two elements--graphic concern of graphic Does not the inadequaciy only representation does formalism to which glossematic common alphabetic writing." of these tural relationship of writing. since one cannot consider in principle inadmissible form is opposed to substance in language as a constant "that demonstraof this second It is in the course to a variable. from which Martinet of the privilege effaces in the Course. In another that of graphic the imperfection call imperfecrepresentation. Chapter dissociates And only Chapter expressly VI. Which amounts. 116-117. of letters dissimilar tion is due to "the cardinally patterning and phonemes:" or only partially." italics of the "parasitic" of the "auxiliary. the inseparahave maintained would Saussure VI? Up to what point the most important and form. in in the case of the position repeated to the letter. 117) cp. presented arguments logical of the spoken word to a a "scientific" that concept they oppose What I would wish to show is that one of writing." mine) (p. concept vulgar of "the strucexclude from the general cannot experience writing of course. while asand stated what one thought well if one knew perfectly to speak." to reading graduate I do not bethat were rigorously proved.-something proposition an immense problem).

it. the who." tive the system of a generalized not have "could script. Hjelmslev phonic he uses "ceneme" and "cenematics" instead of Yet it is under"phoneme" and "phonematics. to the teaching guistic and. returning I believe that is not just the idea of writing generalized a system or a futo be invented." so particular that one can well understand something why linguists want to exclude it from the domain of their science' (La linguisMartinet criticizes mine). belongs of the concept of writing that we for the moment merely cation one is not given that modified Even supposing that anticipate." hesitate that the majority of linguists standable terminoloto modify the traditional completely advanfor the only theoretical edifice gical of in the field able to include tages of being . going beyond sign. of course except terms refer to the phonic substance. those a certain trend in Saussure. To avoid findings beyond. an hypothetical characteristic I think ture possibility. of pure a system that one is considering concept. but of following and extending yond" the master's teaching Not to do it is to cling to what in Chapter limits VI massively formal and structural research and contradicts contestthe least able of Saussurian doctirne. On that precise it is not a question of "going bepoint." declare that the linguistic does not necessarily have that sign character" phonic (p. on the contrary oral that language a modifito this But that presupposes already writing. through and why nevertheless. if Clearly." "going one risks to a point that falls short. p. withit and of integrating its formulation the means of thinking that most linguists Does the fact in its theoretical discourse? Martinet seems to be of that do so create a theoretical right? a purely elaborated After opinion. "such a system would be any real autonomy.Linguistics and Grammatology 155 with a perfect that is to say a communication effecideography. he writes: hypothesis between the parallelism It must be recognized that is complete as and phonology this "dactylology" and much in synchronic as in diachronic material. following question character of the linguistic essentially sign: phonic "Many people will be tempted to think Saussure is right that when he announces that 'the that constitutes de Za CZ'essentiel thing language is . to the articulation tional relative terminology to all so as to eliminate of signifiers reference when as does Louis substance. we do not desire to exclude from the domain of the systems of the type we have just linguistics to modify tradiit is most important imagined. having "dactylological" of language. unrelated to the phonic of the lincharacter langue] of the master. supposing as an hypothesis for the future or a working hypothesis. writing a linguistics refuse itself faced should with that hypothesis. italics tique synchronique. 18. the terminology with the latter associated may be when the used for the former. 19). . .

calling within the work of historical was. Can one say as much of the algebraism from that proconclusions drew the most rigorous undoubtedly gress? . in attested that. (p. cessity it essentially which I continue to call writing only because The latter of writing. 20-21. by hardly yet all frontiers. escaping It is not a would then be confused. however only on had "natural" etc. that and untouched never been intact never existed. linguisthey must be persuaded tic in considersystems. of the sign" themes of "the arbitrariness It as the object not and can never be recognized of a science. And as we shall the very beginning. that the "original. difference. the most dangerous to signify its destined situation. callof the Course as "progress. by the desire differits and working to reduce and its double its other placing it is beIf I persist-in that difference ence. derivativeI would wish rather to suggest that the alleged real and massive. cause. expose a derivative in the to reintroduce be absurd confusedly writing of this derivation." to consider in the development of Chapter in return the uncritical positions ing into question of writing. to the form which cannot let itself be reduced is that very thing and of the object of presence. by the although concept canand of difference. presuppositions. to a new "scientific" rise concept VI. begin without the trace. an old inhabited tions. all orders The latter objectivity That is why what I would be tempted all relation of knowledge. reversing the as long as one conserves gism does not brook any objections of speech which form the solid and-writing colloquial concepts of its and quotidian fabric concepColloquial argumentation. was possible ness of writing. of rehabilitating writing question Phonolothe order of dependence when it is evident. by writing repression. always and I wish to indicate and outline and new concept here. never gives which of Hjelmslev. they have no advantage substance of units of expression ing the phonic italics interest as to be of direct mine). upon living difference to see. whose neAn archi-writing it had itself been a writing. besides--uncontradictorily enough--by limited visible the more rigorous history. and within the system area of oral language the all the frontiers within Without ethnocentrism. writing. hypothetical to envisage To make them agree such a revolution. by writing. cannot be thought is invoked its This archi-writing. of its sphere legitimacy nor of in the narrow sense." one condition: language. phonological to the presuppositions behind which I have attempted arguments. it would Once one assumes these above. from the closest for the living It threatened the desire speech and from from within it encroached speech proximity. communicates with the vulgar concept itself could not have imposed historically except by the disdisfor a speech simulation of the archi-writing.156 Derrida their science some purely systems. of these we do not doubt the value Once again.

a game and nothing last more. That independence is the very principle ot glossematics as the formal of language. situates his above.Linguistics and Grammatology 157 The Principes de grammaire out (1928) generaZe separated within the doctrine of the Course and the phonological principle the principle of difference.22 analysis In the Prolegomena to a Theory of Language (1943). de Saussure the most faithful image The scheme of language is in the of a grammar. a concept It isolated of form which a distinction between formal and phonic difference permitted and this even within difference." analogy.). 117). 118). corresponds is why the game of chess reand not economic fact mains for F. language the glossemes are by definition immaof substance. (phonps. of its play. as has been pointed is has been overlooked the fact that ticular. the substance-expression of a spoken "that language supposed should of 'sounds':" consist out by the Zwirners in parThus. on the other hand there is nothing That that to a standard. (immaterial "Since is a form and not a substance (F. setting forth the opposition for which he substitutes expression/content. among presupposes other of sound. by. the difference and in which each term may be signifier/signified. closing Hjelmslev of the schema or play the lineage of of language within concept Saussure--of Saussure's and his theory Alof value.chological of language. the reassuring of play. Hjelmslev criticizes the idea of a language bound to the substance naturaZZy of phonic It is by mistake that it has hitherto been expression. gesture. that the substance of meaning and. unit--the then not only the consideraguistic glosseme--excludes tion of the substance of expression but also substance) (material that of the substance of the content substance). possible The unity of sound and of sense is indeed as I propsed here. of the finctioning The study etc. in parenthesis. independent terial and logical) and material (semantic. Grammar is independent of semantics and phonology (p. but it aZso the role a vis-a-vis of a variable itself plays it as a which serves fixed of merchandise quantity In linguistics standard. formalism to the "value of to compare value though he prefers linguistic in the economic sciences' rather than to the "purely exchange a limit to this he assigns logico-mathematical value." ic. "spoken" language (p. graphic. speech certain of speech accompanied by. An economic is by definition two value with a value not only does it play the roZe of a constant faces: the concrete vis-a-vis units of money."20 That formality is itself of a purely the condition functional The idea of a linguistic and of a purely linfunction analysis. from the point considered of view of form or substance. de Saussure). and that components can be replaced as and that in realituy. that be placed substance. science Its formality that supposes "there is no necessary connection between sounds and language. .

" "all the theoretical consequences develop writes: the that when we consider It is even more curious have been widely drawn. p. (An Outline of human expression that the assertion so that 1927. various of quite a "derivation" to presuppose Refusing of phonic expression ing from the substance of the area of structural outside problem stics. the usual subble to replace sound-and-gesture as approthat offers with any other stance itself Thus external under changed circumstances. cisely 3 sorts. for it is only through that we can between form and substance difference and writing the possibility of speech explain . London. pregraphic be from the point of view of the substance. mouth. of "natural" language. exclusivewhich is addressed "substance" graphic into ly to the eye and which need not be transposed or to be grasped in order a phonetic "substance" "substance" And this understood. followof substances this Hjelmslev places and of linguianalysis what is derived it is not always certain Moreover that the discovwe must not forget and what not. is at the same time opened and closed of a grammatology by space did not Saussure To show that The Course in General Linguistics. J. by are considerations diachronic modern linguistics. can. 104-105). on a formal be rested of linguistic analysis structure. irrelevant (p.: Bertrand rightly quite that we have no means of decidtion to the fact is the older or speech form writing ing whether of Philosophy. 47)].158 Derrida not only the so-called the Zwirners of organs say. as is recognized But in any case. is only one of it rests on a phonetic analysis it may also the possible. diachronic hypotheses. orthonotation and with the so-called phonetic the Finnish. for synchronic descriptions of the fact a remarkable formulation H. in prehistory is hidden writing ery of alphabetic attencalls Russell En. and nose). but very nearly (throat. Uldall provides to at the same time thanks criticism that glossematic operates the proper as I suggested and against Saussure above. speech in the exerall musculature the striate cooperate it is possicise Further. he of his discovery. him. priate in be manifested the same linguistic form may also or phonemic as happens with a phonetic writing. inconsequences practical Saudeed had been drawn thousands before of years the concept of a ssure. that. Here is a as for example graphies.

in its notably "modernity. who.Linguistics and Grammatology 159 at the same existing and the same language. corresponds this was the misery and the menace of writing) and (for Rousseau in pronunciation. Uldall these 'delimits problems and emphasizes the mutual of the substances of independence He illustrates it particularly in expression. merely give It showed how to reach the literary to what in literaelement. literature and in the structure of a literary text in general. formalists. on the substance of graphic and An original depends expression. to epos or to poetry. The desire to restrict is irresistible. graphic of expression. the stream substances. no phoneme corresponds to that. were an integral ink. that an "analysis of writing without Hjelmslev recognizes regard to sound has not yet been undertaken" While regretting (p. to the other without as expressions of one two If either of these of air or the stream of itpart of the language to go from one possible the language.PO." in its also risks the play. limiting it. that. the specificity of writing. in specifically their attention to the being-literary of literature.) stricting play This interest literature was in fact manifested by the Copen2n It thus removes the Rousseauist and Saussurian hagen School. J." a new domain is thus opened to unpublished and Undoubtedly However it is not that parallelism researches. 105). or that fecund of expression of substances that interests us parity recaptured . 13-14)." H. did not Recognizing glossematics itself the means of describing the graphic element. escapes and conditions of possibility has perhaps better glossematics isolated. caution with regard to literary arts. one cannot it exrecapture of that bond tying cept on the condition rigorously isolating the play of form to the substance of graphic (It expression. also that "the substance of ink has not received the same attention on the part of linguists that bestowthey have so lavishly ed on the substance of air. it would not be self. ture passes an irreducibly the play tying through text. respected irreducibility. substance If there is of form to a determined in literature which does not allow to be reduced itself something to the voice. that. of within the history Notably poetry. It has perhaps to study thus better itself prepared the purely stratum within the structure of the literary graphic text within of the becoming-literary the history of literality. by the fact no grapheme to accents of pronunciation orthography. perhaps favored the phonological it instance and the literary models that dominates. the spacing between written words (p. reciprocally. that merits a type of description whose norms instance.24 changing time the Copehagen School a field thus frees of reUndoubtedly search: it becomes to direct attention not only to the possible of a form freed from all "natural" bonds to a substance. will thus reby the same token be seen that "pure literature. purity but also to everything in the stratification of language. It radicalizes the efforts of the Russian of the O. delimited of this rigorously description may thus be promised. That which.IAZ.

system field an object field. Like all the here. language. in its (Which does not mean it has a real in no way could Its concept another site. "Experience" that whether with a presence. in the case of experience That is not so at all . opening and with the other temporalization. as such. it is most unwieldy of experience.27 why the name writdispense so different to be used for that X which becomes ing continued from what has always been called "writing. the relationship always designated or not. As for the I shall continue struction by it. the "form of expression" linked to by correlation the graphic "substance of expression" remains very determined. (in the Hjelmslepositive. exhaust is here obliged which the discourse of experience and in before sources of the concept attaining It its foundation. begun to justify of archithe concept between of this the necessity communication to deconof writing submitted and the vulgar concept writing to do so below.).26 which a theory should notion one of those to experience appeals He would not have understood with. systems. psychological. to a certain the whole of experience. at once. relationship possibility. vian Therefore. uniting graphic a conbut the movement of the sign-function otherwise. It always corresponds type of factual or regional (historical. This archi-writing would be at archi-writing work not only in the form and substance of graphic expression. or not only the pattern form to all substance. linking or not." and especially this I have already word. en bloc as he rejects. irreIt is because movement ofdifferance. Thus. in one and the same ducible archi-synthesis. had the form of consciousness relationship of contortion and contention to this sort we must. is the only way to escape and the "naive" critiques "empiricism" of experience the experiat the same time. notions has [sous we can only use it under erasure rature]. rigorously regional as archi-writing. for example.25a archi-writing. is not ence whose "theory. to the same substitutions. the of the system itself. However original and irreducible concept it might be. assignable and "immanent" enrich the scientific. according the reto undertake. which lends itself To the extent that and is irrefutable. sociological. order to attain. linguistics." "must be independent" Hjelmslev says. sense) description neits would no doubt have questioned of glossematics founder all the extraand legitimately. immafrom the irreducible which do not arise theories linguistic of the linguistic nence He would have seen in that system. to an expression.) elsewhere.160 Derrida It is clear if the phonic that substance lost its primarily. experience that rise to a science etc. in those of non-graphic but also It would constitute expression. it was not to the advantage of the graphic substance. At any rate. it be graphic This theme tent whether could in Hjelmslev's not have a place system. outside is itself and. cessity. it liberates still with glossematics operates a popular of writing. linguistic and be situated as form a part of the linguistic itself. privilege. as the condition of all cannot. ultimate by deconstruction. concept and of metaphysics it belongs to the history I am using. It is very dependent and very derivative with regard to the of which I speak. giving physiological.

of its abandoned to the simple content the ultraconclusions. in the work or unconfessed This is often noticeable metaphysics. system it: studies here of the objective and "deductive" which system wishes to be. this It is to escape of the Copenhagen School. within acceptable that we susthe discourse of origin. From then on. one must indeed speak of an origidesor archi-trace. the extent of the concept of experience that in general--and in Husserl in particular--remains transcendental experience. tic and excluded all and metaphysithe extrinsic sciences system cal speculations. is to see to it that to the within the beyond does not return of a pathway the necessity in the contortion recognize Eparcours]. the value of the transcendental be must make its felt itself before [archie] letting necessity must comply with both that The concept of archi-trace erased. We must form and medinow upon the law of this the tate What I call resemblance. To there are a within and a beyond of transcendental criticism.Linguistics and Grammatology 161 The parenthesizing of regions of experience or of the totality of natural a field must discover of transcendental experience experiThis experience is only accessible ence. progress of its of the originality accomplished respectful by a formalism of "the immanent system of its is plagued object. objects. and not It is in fact erasure. and that contradictory necessity The trace the logic is not only of identity. back into falling I refer naive here to a transcendentality that that objectivism I believe that I elsewhere It is because put into question. all tions form seems the simplicity and the domination of that torment to indicate to us how much transcendental belongs phenomenology . it participates in the movegoverned by the theme of presence. For example. which thus except by a non-origin. as a reduction the phenomenological moment of the discourse. a track in the text. Present (lebenment of the reduction of the trace. that constituted origin the trace. of concepts of that future erasure ought to mark the places arche meditation. after like isolated the specificity of the linguishaving. transcendental text will so closely the pre-critical resemble text as to be indistinguishable from it. simple and the Husserlian To reference to a transcendental experience. if al with the trace. The Living form of transcenand absolute is the universal dige Gegenwart) to which Husserl In the descripdental refers us." by a scientificist that is to say by another unperceived objectivism. and. to wrench the becomes the origin of the trace from the classical scheme which would derive concept and which would it from a presence or from an originary non-trace make of it an empirical mark. one asks the question of the transcendental of the system as a system of the objects of a itself. Without that That pathway must leave track. reciprocally of the origin. We must then situate. that Yet we know that concept nary trace is its there name and that. origin which of the theoretical science.--within the disappearance the it means that to the path that we follow and according tain it was never did not even disappear. correlatively. begins troys above all no originary trace. Without the decisive glossematics that. in so far as. Hjelmslev. experience does not that of the movements of temporalization.

plenitude Such is them form. sensible signifier were not alIf language etc. the phonic tralizing the the end point.). nified. oneself to answer or to believe obliged oblige as or as non-belonging of belonging to conceive as an allegiance of speech. tion although Although its possiof all plenitude. the phonic On the one hand. paths. not more sensible is therefore This differance motor or sensory. no difference but difference of a constituted It is not the question here. to it. in the as other the other a trace without retaining perience. non-presentation That is why a thought can no more of the trace presentation. it by a yes or no. expression would be no derived "notation" a writing. It is. Here as elsewhere. Here the appearing of phonic reduction not prean originary synthesis presupposes ing of difference Such would be the originary ceded by an absolute simplicity.162 IDerrida of to metaphysics. and content. exof temporal in the minimal unit a retention Without trace. of the arche. concept leads How does the path that of the linguistic terior system? the originary forbid us to avoid to Hjelmslev from Saussure trace? the its passage In that form is a passage through through would be more in general of differance And the meaning imprint. make a choice. as I-usserl describes actually relationship as or de-presentation is as "originary" them. between of relationships and the classical possible. of the pure of the content. or opposition which gives out the difference as the to difference of the appeal the most evident significance and functionsubstance. with the outside. phonic it does not exist. The (pure) movement which produces or ance. problem Of course the positive not arise. But that must come to terms with the forces In the originary temporalization and the movement of rupture. all before determination rather. of that double to us if the unity accessible passage appeared more clearly. outside a being-present it is never that one calls to all anterior is by rights (signisign bility or operation. than be reduced break with a transcendental phenomenology to to pose the problem in terms of choice. of neufrom the possibility one must begin In both cases. etc. two orders between text for example--or the colloquial and writing--in of speech mits the articulation the between the metaphysical it founds sense--as opposition and sigthen between and the intelligible. as such withwould not appear is called that sensible. would appear. the condion the contrary. ready. in that sense. of signs the articulation and it permits than intelligible among or graphic order--a the same abstract themselves within phonic It perof expression. the concept I admit the necessity of going Therefore through us from the inHow does that direct of the archi-trace. or graphic. trace is differdifference. audible It does not depend on any sensory plenitude. visible. fied/signifier. of such a plenitude. is to confuse freedom very different levels. substance. could and writing speech . element. concept content/expression. would do its work and no meaning same. one does not In the deconstruction and styles.

preoccupations. It is wellthe other of the imprint. Now the "sound-image. The sound-image is the structure which is anything of the sound CZ'apparattre du son] appearing It is the soundbut the sound appearing [le son apparaissant]. There cannot be a science of presences differance in its itself as it is impossible to have a operation. 663. and informed lived the "sensory matter" by differdistinct what Husserl would name the hyle/morphe structure. to be sure is reduced by the act and the very (it of language). happy notion to retain the whole the word sign to designate propose [signe] and to replace and sound-image by signified respectively concept not the sound is what is heard. exercising marked. only in that more abstract" of the association. Although a phenomenological in this matter haps convenient. ance. sound. is called the "psychological image" by is not the material Saussure: "The latter [the sound image] a purely of but the psychological sound. an unbut for the "concept. from all mundane reality.Linguistics and Grammatology 1 63 of signification can only describe sciences the work and the fact of differance.29 mental an exteriorized of equivalent . whether by they be inspired analyses or other linguistic. Before let us note that this is not necessarily it. imprint thing. 98) Cp. psychoanalytic. the concept. right at the moment that he institutes the accoustics and physiology of the science of language. 663. not the name signified image that he calls reserving signifier. Being-heard to an order dissimilar and belongs radically ally phenomenal to that of the real sound in the world. of this locus is well the originality caution. of in the phenomenological to "reduce. certain non-origin. term it to the other and by way of opposing sense." undoubtedly ideality "I of the sense. the determined differences and the determined that they make possible. specifying as "the mentalwhat Jakobson and other could criticize linguists ist point of view" In the oldest back to of these going approaches.' and if I happen to call image is sensory. indispensphenomenological able to all of being-heard. the sound." is structurheard but the being-heard of the sound. is therefore But it is on Differance the formation of form. hand the being-imprinted and known that the "sound-image" Saussure between distinguishes He thus gives the the objective himself sound (p. for the thing. 98) [p. opposed phoneme is a sound imagined to the emitted sound as a "psychophonetic" phenoIt is the menon to the "physiophonetic" fact." the structured appearing [l'appara~tre] of the sound. the Baudouin de Courtenay and still surviving. that it is it 'material." the sciences sense. which is generally is not perthe word "psychological" (p. or intended. physical The soundthe impression it makes on our senses. of the origin of presence science is to say of a that itself. The sound-image [signifie]. can only One divide this subtle but absolutely decisive by a heterogeneity is therefore The latter reduction. let us say for the ideality here.

the chains. op.. traces. is confined ternal to the distinctive features to speech the exclusion of the configurative. be defended Jakobson's criticism against 1) that by specifying: it could be conserved without "our inthat necessarily affirming . or redundant features. Which amounts once again to saying that there in general. and is already this last is absolutely a trace. other of man survive. Here the Husserlian correction is indispensable and not real) transforms of the debate. and. 112) Cp. experience" (Jakobson. and the systems in traces." 2) that the qualification is not retained if it desigpsychological nates another natural internal and not exreality. reality object. shows also in the Krisis should (p. The trace is in fact the absolute origin of sense is no in general.164 Derrida the notion of the "psychological Although image" thus defined is to say according to a pre-phenomenological of (that psychology the imagination)is of this indeed mentalist it could inspiration. These precautions it sould be recognized that it is taken. 63f) Za how phenomenology overcome the naturalist and the whereby psychology opposition. sound LCe son apparaissant] tinction the appearing and between in order of the sound the appearing to du son] Zl'apparattre of confusions: and it and the most prevalent the worst escape is in principle to do it without to overpossible "attemptEing3 come the antinomy between invariance and variability by assignto the internal and the latter to the external ing the former The difference p. appear or rather among the elements them. it does not really either (reeZl) belong to the world or to lived of the non-real experience: component lived The psychological image of which Saussure experience. and systems These chains cannot be outlined except the fabric of this trace or imprint. The trace is the differance absolute origin of sense . As to the intentional for example (Realitat). exclusively ternal. the content of the image. . cit. of lived the hylZ/morphe is not a structure component experience. Further. even the premises Real (reelZ. . that differences luminous.. beThe unheard difference tween the appearing and the appearance et l'apCl'apparaissant the "world" and "lived is the (between paratrel experience") and it condition of all other of all other differences. concept to all physiological "anterior" by rights concerning problematics the nature or metaphysical concernof the engramme." not more in time than in space. That gives indication that the essence of the phone cannot enough be read directly in the text of a mundane science. imprint of a lived which is neither in the temporalization experience world nor in "another which is not more sonorous than world. between invariance and variability two does not separate-the domains from each other. it divides each of them within itself. in the specific zone of this in the and this trace. and "external" sciences between "internal" It is therefore to preserve the disindispensable experience. 123. problematics is thus opened of absolute whose trace ing the meaning presence to deciphering. must not be an internal one.primarily of a psycho-physio-phonetics. an external reality speaks copying who criticizes I this of "portrait" in Ideen concept Husserl. make them emerge as produce such and constitute of the texts.

or rather its indicate double This word is meaning.] articulation of two parts --Hinged The hinge of wood. You have. chain or "tactile. to speech. can describe of sensibility. this of the experience of space writing Origin beof the trace. is articulation. part. the difference is invisible. that conclusison. hierarchy for example. applied part. (graphic) and the acoustic The graphic image imprint? image is not seen." possibly articulation of this chain. It is from the primary possibility that one must begin. inscription The Joint [La Brisure] I suppose.. the trace is not more ideal than repetition. or subdivision of a sequence. Difference VI: This is indeed what Saussure Chapter says. fragment. not more a transparent real. origin not more intelligible than sensible. The difference between the full unities voice in the body of the remains unheard. into units. joint. faille." (letter) Laporte of and time. fente." ("visual" graphic "spatial") to a spoken in a linear "temporal") fashion. and the visual between the sound-imprint.or metal-work. " -broken brisure break] [joint. to sound as much as tion anterior between regions a sense a "natural" is there in establishing to light.. difference nating I have perhaps it by chance located in RobertE's if I play dictionary] on the word. tween space and time to be articulated. than an opaque energy and no concept of metaphysics signification And as it is a fortiori anterior to the distincit. In Latin. of an experience out of a "same" body (of a "same" lived unity a This articulation therefore permits proper [corps propre]). the subdivision either articulation of a designates or the subdivision chain into of the spoken syllables . dreamt of a single word for desigfinding and articulation. cbreche. contradicting takes The question of the vocal obviously apparatus a secondary in the problem of speech Clangage]. permits in the to appear as such. the difference this fabric difference. of the is not heard. Roger Cf. fracture. ("phonic. fracture. chain Using of meanings significant . the brisure of a [hinge-joint] shutter. to be adapted.Linguistics and Grammatology 165 which opens and signification. Cf breach. split. cassure. Articuappearance cl'apparaitre] the living in general. fault. place One definition of articulated speech might confirm articulus means a member. of all lating upon the non-living origin of ideality. fragment. And.

in the indepresent. that all intramundane This passivmetaphors would only betray. could not operate. originarily. which permits differences to appear in a chain of significations. That the "imprint" is irreducible means also that speech is originarily but in a sense of passivity passive. by the evidence . if time would risk effacement. of temporalization. to a past. italics mine) corresponding cp. pensable To be sure. and of a linear. the other in a strange fashion. to an always-alreadyity is also the relationship of the origin there that no reactivation could fully master and awaken to presence. i. by demonstrating constitute and the future present ample that the past present it. it may be and under the same erasure. is as indiscomposable synthesis protention And their two dimensions are not added up as retention. the structure describe for the of presence does not amount only to accounting plicity of proindeed of a "dialectic" horizons of potential presence. the form of the living present. of surrounding instead present its homogenof time while conserving the structure complicating for exeity and its fundamental successivity. of them-evidence the concepts of time and history which implies the metaphysical adequately concept of time in general--cannot the simAnd deconstructing of the trace. duction." The concepts of present. of the always-already-there and the fundamental passivity bility On the other hand. as a present-past. rein spite of an audacious phenomenological described. we can say that what is natural to mankind is not oral speech but the faculty of cona language. trace no longer rigorously since the strange movement of the trace proto erase. Since past has always sigin the the absolute nified past that is retained present-past.166 Derrida the second definition. 26. This impossibility of reanimating absolutely the evidence to an of an originary refers us therfore presence absolute That is what authorized us to call trace that past. the sensory appearing Lapparaissant] and its lived appearing the temporalizing ("mental imprint"). but the one implies in protention does not disjoint the present what is anticipated than does that which is retained any less from its self-identity the irreduciBut if anticipation were privileged. Another name merits the name "past". by dividing the same that Husserl which is in effect Such a complication. that is called us it is because it obliges to an absolute the trace refers past. in the heart of the and retention that one would install tention It is not a matter of it with it. abides. 103 The idea of the "mental imprint" therefore essentirelates Without the difference between ally to the idea of articulation. be summed up in the simplicity which does not let itself of a It could in fact have been objected that. in the trace. ture.e. especially differance claims as much as it recalls: defers/differs[differe3. and presence objective. [apparaCtre] synthesis. in'the form of a to think a past that can no longer be understood modified presence. everything past. a system of distinct structing signs to distinct ideas (p. With the same precaution is also its relationship with the "fusaid that its passivity in and future.

of the reduction. blank. evidence. word. "anterior" but would be considerably immediately of which the problem of the deferred effect (NachtragZichkeit) Freud speaks. delay. named the vocalic de Biran. as consciousness of the time of live a time that is an accomplice consciousness. upon a woof that is not its own? And which. It is in a certain "unheard" sense. etc. in spite of all the play that would follow from it. between passivity The relationship with language. ternal). of sigwhich constitutes interval in general. That the logos be first imprinted and that that imprint be to be sure. Since there is no non-metaphoric language sibility to oppose to metaphors here. a ground which the phenomenology as "dialectical" let us say the unconscious of temporality structures.Linguistics and Grammatology 167 mundane model. lated thus: is the temporality described by a transcendental as possible. the origin etc. then. that must be deconstructed. rooted in that passivity in general. logic. must. 169) cp. with a slightly different intention.) It is because "language is a form and not a subnification. multiis how Maine "Wish sensibilized. for example. is security. by a present which would not have preceded it It is to it. or exthe world.--such the most difficult no longer at all mundane? For it problem--is is not by chance that the transcendental phenomenology of the to place cosmic time so careful internal time-consciousness." ply antagonistic metaphors.. the divine word. be determined. is perhaps not possible. by a delay that is in to consciousness. from the fact that each one of in itself. It is that were the result of'God's death. one must." etc. 1221 that. and that problematics conceptuality is Differance It belongs to the onto-theology it fights against. also something other than finitude. relationship befrom the relationship and difference cannot be distinguished of language (as rootedness tween the fundamental unconsciousness within the language) and the spacing (pause. and even as internal within brackets. structures. (internal perception even in the subtle form and the "world. inadmissible an experience its very present. that the the writing-resource of language. In its greatest this immense problem would be formuformality. fundamental constituted. signifies. and would prohibit that." the rupture. etc. Between consciousness. Now B would be as such constituted by the retention of Now A and the protention of Now C. now. its of speech is first the passivity According to Saussure. to which he refers cannot be that The temporality or of which lends itself to a phenomenology of consciousness and one may indeed wonder by what right all that is in presence here should still be called uestion time. . as Bergson wished. this model the three Now-s reproduces that structure a Now X from taking the place of of successivity would prohibit Now A." side of metaphysics of this move. the continuous full element of logos is not a creative activity. paradoxically. But it would not mean a single step outif only a new motif of "return to finitude. of the activity stance" (p. Or is the phenomenological would simply modify? model itself as a warp of language. punctuation. anterior present. that speech is in calls senwhich metaphysics the world.

30) Cp. form of all presence. 166) that word speaks this the articulaCp. use that As such. 120]. the non-present. to understand it is now easier why Freud says of the Perhaps than to a to a writing rather it is comparable that dreamwork writthan to a phonetic rather and to a hieroglyphic langyage. the concept that the former may borrow from the latter. says why With or withof the speaker" "is not a function (p. organization. under the category thought it or unconsciousness. the latter sense in whatever Writing it is modified. writing to take on an importance" indeed where "the (Preface 'wwbtes' Coup de des) . propositions of a metaphysics reversals as more than the simple be understood and disof presence or of conscious Constituting subjectivity. the phenomenological such within experience of the living the presence marks the dead time within present. The dead time is always within the general of all in spite the discursive That is why. can and must always speech " in language there are only differences" it is because (p. must all these of their out the complicity authors. the very in a non-phenomenological pression way. however of the subject. opposes to drop within and causes cuts. Archi-writing It of a presence. of writof the subject absence And the original tary essence. ent gesture in relation and the becomingis the becoming-absent as writing Spacing of the subject. with its becoming lationship is that of life's levels On all of subjectivity. (notice Spacing tion of space and time. at work. it that of language Saussure And to understand ing.168 Derrida draw from it. is an X as a subject To determine of metaphysics. unperturbed tiality of self-relationin the presence CZe propre] ty of the selfsame does not run withof that history And the thread clearly ship. for here we pass limits occur as spacing cannot as of phenomenology. it at the same time. ahd which is I have been speaking dimension precise it is not even necesnot opposed to it as surface depth. resources of writing. are of a testamenAll graphemes to say of the 3conomy of death. in the borders an indifferit is never of a pure convention. the becoming-space of time and the beis always the unperceived. is other than the subject. of space) coming-time if one can still exand the non-conscious. refer. the horizontality Within of so far. let itself passively is the constitution this own death. writing locating be can never is understood. of the thing the absence ing is also the which is in fact of spacing. That becoming--or drift/derivation it or would would choose not befall the subject'which --does reAs the subject's be drawn along by it. unconscious drift/derivaBy the movement of its in return tion of the sign constitutes the emancipation E[drive3 that the desire of presence. or the referent. never an operation to writing. of the trace will never be merged with a phenomenology of in general. spacing sary to say that cadence this without is nothing the unconscious the unconscious: . 14]. drops. But if it is a form. it is endowed with consciousness however to the substanof its thread will history. a phenomenology of the sign As the phenomenology in the place can be realized No intuition is impossible. once again. by the entire or to the identiof a presence by accidents.

must indeed all between renounce distinctions ing it. oral solve series into a finite of elemenspeech units. has a manifestly Thus form in language granular 32 structure and is subject to a quantal description. discrete as presented cons-tituents. that of the other If words and conmust constantly be in movement. The hinging a sign. as writing. linguistics. and thus renounce not itself. Shannon and Mathematical 1949. origin the trace. Theory of Communication. of oral speech. of this word? What led us to the choice Why of the trace? I have begun to answer is such. 74f. one must ask the question claims of of a problematic Such is the place its in difference. thinkBefore of psychoanalysis. that marks the impossibility Ebrisure] and a signified. within the the unity of a signifier be produced That is why of a present and an absolute presence.Linguistics and Grammatology 169 and before this caesura. justify can thereThe justification and an historical strategy. to the discourse of our time have prober of givens belonging must choice The word trace this imposed upon us." into simultaneous termed bundles aligned 'lphonemes. whose force to take into conthe clearest establishes But the word trace them totally. by written came to rehowever. discontinuity. a rather run up against Renounccontinuist precious prejudice. speechz. Linguistic analysis. 3 Weaver CThe (EC. Thus. Urbana. one can of differences. recognized phonologism. receive only in sequences cepts meaning a and one's of terms. choice one's only within language. features. than in the case of a finite set of 112f3) p. numa certain over and above those that I have already defined. t which in turn are concatenated into sequences. phonology and the spoken word.E. with certain me to dispense with them and thus permits nections effectiveness their demonstrated which have already developments . physicaZly the mathematical theory confronted originally of more communication with a situation "considerably involved" W. gressively discourses of itself to a certain refer number of contemporary I accept Not that I intend account. of the one and and such the nature the place of our answer. could at a given moment within have. topology to a condifor never be absolute and definitive. it by means or without benefit which of the full it or restore the meaning speech ing to reduce and of of meaning to be truth. Thus signification forms itself only the hollow of differance: of discontinuity within and of disof the diversion and the reserve of what does not creteness. This hinging of language this Lbrisure] appear. plenitude much one might wish to restore however there is no full speech. this is most important for us: respect The stream continuous. writing in but rather What Jakobson phonology. this But this question question. These ultimate discrete tary informational the so-called are "distinctive units. It corresponds and translates an historical tion of forces calculation.

which one should not even call of the trace. of "memory. then of the "graph" in the narrow sense. of the imall theories All dualisms. belongs to the very movement of signification. Freudian discourse. I relate is at the center of the latest work of Emmanuel Levinas and his of ontology33: a relationship to the illeity as to the critique of a past that never was and can never be lived in the alterity or modified form of presence. of the soul mortality are the unior vulgar. That historial metonymy where God's name holds death in check. (the proximate mediacy. animality thought before the opposition and humanity." birthplace in general. denounced from Plato to Saussure. as familiarity itself. this trace is the opening of the first exteriority to its other and of an of the living the enigmatic relationship and "obThe outside. and eschatological meaning of beinl archaeological another name for death. or not. present. as life without difference: as parousia. without differance within the meaning of the other inscribed out the non-presence'of with death as the concrete the present. of first that is called "exterior." possibility Archi-writing. to be dominant and this notion seems-currently bly in biology. of "usurpation. I have recalled. this concept of trace to what Thus. To make enigmatic language as the full continuity "imwhat one thinks one understands by the words "proximity. and of all the problems whose primary spirit. and "spatial" element in a '"sensible" in one form or another. etc. the own [propre]. in its innermost course. the the spoken word. the trace to the full presence such beneath a speech dreaming its plenitude. to an outside: inside "spatial" spacing. we know as the most familwhich we believe exteriority jective" would not appear iar thing in the world. fields. spiritualist was compelled to whose entire history que theme of a metaphysics of The subordination of the trace. affinity as well as all monisms. strive toward the reduction thle humsummed up in the logos. This deconis my final intention. determined the meaning of being as presence and the meaning of of speech." Cproche]." which must be If the trace. dialectical or materialist. and therefore through the irreducible and tion of the trace (Spur).of presence). if this movement begins its era in the form of Platonism. . without the gramme.1 70 Derrida in those fields.. has undermining of an ontology which. of presence itself struction accomplishes through the deconstrucnotion of consciousness. without the relationship of the living structure Metaphor would be forbidden. sometimes beyond Heideggerian the discourse. is why. archi-phenomenon of nature and culture. withas temporalization. as it appears in both Nietzschean notain all scientific And finally. or of the spirit.--as thought--this notion signifies. The presence-absence reits ambiguity but rather its play (for the word "ambiguity" even when it begins to disobey that quires the logic of presence. irreducible. and the the problems of the letter in itself carries logic). of body and soul. is a priori whether inscribed then signification written. bling of writing the are the gestures determining required by an onto-theology as presence. to a Reconciled here originary it is not in Levinas' Ileideggerian intention." "presence" and the pre.

or from a theoretical lessness its metaphysic of what unites of the Occident. nature and culture. whether Spinoza they are creationisms ways logocentrisms. that the Hegelian Aufhebung but the juxworth as translation. point command only the have at their signifiers Auditory are presented Their elements dimension of time. to Hegel's Logic. it is a line. in time from which it gets is unfolded soZely (a) it represents characteristics: the following in a and (b) the span is measurable a span. This feature in succession. all absolute as logos. outside and inside. a linear that to the same extent its voice it can raise gism. and technique. duce the difference sense. Physics carewas not born out of a philosopher's classical ontology. when they are represented becomes readily apparent . by linguistics it--the avoid must confirm--and how can a science linguistics of language. infinity Only a positive it (it has recently been proposed lift the trace. it was the of the understanding--or said himself logos--that the even calling mode of the divine infinite immediate substance. . can is the name of indifference itself. the totalIt is within failure." as the sublimathe logos of the logos. of entire Saussure's to it. nature They are solidary with a and particularly with all metaphysical conceptuality of the determination and derivative naturalist. being signifier. ." out "the internal Saussurian decree system marking the exclusion that permitted It is precisely these concepts and intelligible. single . this expression movement from spatial of time starting Being and Time. In that the name of God. linearization concept from phonolois undoubtedly This linearism inseparable speech. objectivist. sensible of writing: image or representation. "reaching completion" epoch. between difference I borrow of time. logos of the with a theology with Hegel. ity of the history with the associated see it later And we shall and its technique. auditory. that the non-critical concepts concept that at least to the extent accredited belong. "sublimate" this be translated as sublimation. speak of taposition when it is a a "theological sporadically functioning prejudice. a concept from Aristotle's all philosophy or from the now.Linguistics and Grammatology 171 can reit ends in infinitist being metaphysics. theory can seem to submit writing from this could be interpreted of the signifier" the "linearity of view. etc. to this It is also its eternal son in the Short Treatise. tion theologies or not.The in writing. they form a chain.35 dimension. from Heidegger. and dominating all which determines This concept. of the plenitude question are alInfinitist of the trace is theological. translation may be of dubious We must not therefore is of interest here). of and with the linearist of writing. Only infinite in presence. within classical as it is pronounced such at least rationalism." And above all with a "vulgar concept at the end of It designates.

in the eternal of the divine thinkable present to in its breath. If it came to relate and specifically logos of a finite or not. of a in Stoic was necessary for the coherence logic. in principle the full the signified within is a meaning thinkable to of an intuitive consciousness. between tenuous. by rights. And for modern linguistics. At any rate. The signified face. That this first or the planes faces distinction. the Course but Saussure is seemingly less sure of it throughout in the Anagrams." This model works by itself and ivity. its value seems problematic to him and an intersting a question elaborates left paragraph suspended: That the elements a word follow one another forming is a truth that it would be better for linguistics not to consider as a thing because uninteresting but which on the contrary in advance evident. gives the central on of all reflections useful principle words. The signatum referred. linthis that of relationships the problem between affirmation to the This reference and semantics must: be posed. in any case of an the speech (created being of a signans. change nothing. In a domain as infinitely as the special one I am about it is always to treat. this and perhaps the reasons suggested to a res. created or at any rate first thought and speakable. by virtue of the fundamental law of the human word in general that a question like or that of consecutiveness non-consecutiveness may be posed. as to its now. have just which would merge. self. a meditation deconstructed upon writing through . always to an existent and spoken. What is here in question is not Saussure's affirmation of the essence of discourse but the concept of time that guides temporal this and analysis: affirmation time conceived as linear successas "consecutivity.1 72 Derrida on which Jakobson It is a point with Saussure disagrees for the homogenousness of the line decisively by substituting the structure of the musical "the chord in music. referent. guistics of all and possible thinkable outside of a signifier sigmeaning I that nifiers remains dependent upon the onto-theo-teleology It is thus the idea of the sign that must be evoked."36 staff. however the signifyand the distinction. dominated'by I debt to it as a contingency or a convenience.37 of time is therefore one of the deepThis linearist concept of the modern concept of the to its est adherences own hissign itFor at the limit. if the signifier trace. presence from the the extent it is still that distinguished originarily a trace: it has no is not considered face. signifying need of the signifier It is at the depth of to be what it is. appearing us forbids scholastic thematics infinist theology. the intra-cosmic the intermediary existent) through had an immediate with the divine logos relationship signatum and for which it was not a which thought it within presence is a trace. to treat today's are clearer at the outset. it is indeed of the sign the concept tory. of faces to the history that remain committed ing and signified and correspondence of the classical The parallelism ontology.

of the notion of "in linguistic the replacement practice" minimal word by that of "syntagm. it in its totality and making it insecure in faithfully repeating its most assured evidences. Paris. 48) cp. is that the less "Another result the blame on writing: the what it is supposed to represent. by recent "Semiology. Spanish editions Andre Martinet are to the English Diogenes. 2 . of presence must and consciousness. 1959. . 393. and English. have long known that the analy"Grammarians and linguists can be pursued beyond the word without sis of utterances that is. with the undoing lsollicitation337a of onto-theology. of this journal are published simultaneously. stronger to the written to draw attention Grammarians never fail the tendency is easily form. or phonemes. have to be put aside if . . . Cours de tinguistiqwe Mine. represents writing the tendency to use it as a basis becomes. upon writing Translated by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak of Iowa University COa. explained. has no need of the word" (p. are to English translations available. researches showed that this COb. "We are touching to do with meaning" (p. placed ggneraZe. Wade within C 3. 1 . metaphysics reflect as its death ana its resource. of the signiis the apparently innocent proposition within which the fier.3 [Parallel French. 403. 40) cp. to Course in General Linguistics.3 My references to the "courage" which would formerly have been alludes that the term 'word' itself "needed" to "foresee might definiterm could not be given a universally applicable as revealed tion" (p. Ep. writing They cannot accept traditional first whether it reproduces without verifying faithfully of the language which it is supposed to the true structure Martinet proposes In conclusion record" (p. where of French texts. 41) Cp. within [ 3 All page references Baskin. which have nothing such as syllables speech. 1965. 16a3. Psychologically.38 One is led to this of necessity from the moment that the trace affects the totality of the sign in both its aspects. 483. New York. ending with segments of going into phonetics. are to Ferdinand de Saussure. Diogene 51. That the signified and is originarily a and created spirit) (and not only for a finite essentially that it is always already in the position trace. to here on what renders the notion of the word so suspect all true linguists. Derrida's page references 1949.3 De interpretationes I. tr." any "group of several "monemes. of the logos. 543.Linguistics and Grammatology 173 as it must. studies. 393. 39) [p." signs" that will be called to bring out the tone and the Let us extend our quotation Saussure puts of these theoretical affect propositions. .

2. Rousseau. writing. actually of such the responsibility upon this strange proposition. 4 . 13Ruwet.1 74 Derrida 3 . 19563. Fr. in Essais collected and translated de linguistique Ctr. leave the enigma inmediacy and of "vocalic languages" I shall return to this. 1249. tact.. Only seemingly. this spelling would have to exist independentwa is written oi. 103 [p.S. sujet." CParis]. Cvol. The sentence that I have just cited is the last one of the fragment as published in the Pleiade." 1964. the comparable edition G. 52) [p. for that we use" (p. the notions of speak in general of the entire system. 303. in the Pl6iade edition under the title Manuscript included Its composition is placed Prononciation (II. Principles It is in the 19693. circa 1761 (cf. Free use of the words and 'pronunciation' sanctions the abuse and 'pronounce' reverses the real. 1248)." Instead of meditating ly. Berkeley and Los Angeles. February. as if the graphic symbols were the 'norm' (p. M. languages. unlike Saussure. Nicolas 19633. p. tr.] Streckeisen-Moultou. 6 . For French oi to be pronounced wa. to Rousseau here forbids himself even if. of Jakobson and Halle (the et phonetique" "Phonologie first part of Fundamentals of Language [the Hague. signs. Baltaxe. Text presented in "Les anagrammes de by Jean Starobinski Ferdinand de Saussure: textes Mercure de France. Cf. p. thought by conventional speech represents and writing speech in the same way. for this implies that language form and that certain liberties depends on its written may be taken in writing. It does not appear in of the same group of notes by CM. but its consequences are annoying. a text ("actually "To wa is written oi") Saussure argues: of o the oddity to an exceptional attribute pronunciation and i is also misleading. "The signifier aspect of the system of language can conto which the phonic aspect of sist only of rules according Printhe act of speech is ordered. 350]. tr. Whoever says that a certain letter must be the written pronounced a certain way is mistaking image of a sound for the sound itself. 295. de la geometrie ed. generale strand of the Saussurian 661) that the phonologistic proand most rigorously ject seems to be most systematically . editors' note in the Pleiade).] L'origine 1962. Paris. 1861. J. in the fragment on Rousseau is seemingly more cautious Prononciation: speech by "Thought is analysed by speech. Christiane of Phonology.] Troubetzkoy. inedits. CJacques Derrida. 5 . thus the represents of art of writing is nothing but a mediated representation the only ones at least in the vocalic thought. CParis3. 1949. 7 ." CN. p. p. cipes de phonologie. under the title of "Fragment d'un sur le meme Essai sur les langues" and "Notes detach6es in Oeuvres et correspondances inedites de J. Paris. italics mine). between writing legitimate relationship and language. [J. A. Cantineaue.

p. 302. 1964. 214 C"Das Ding. CParis. EParis. do not pretend to interfere--with Saussure's and. p. Pfullingen. vol. 240f [Der Satz vom Grund. The important in the word is not the sound alone thing to disthat make it possible differences but the phonic for differences word from all this carry others. I. p. 4. Papers. EAndre Preau. tr. 163) [p. 1966. langage. de ltessence du sign. Bk. 9 . and 1967. in France. A segment can never of language signification. of defended. . 2. . synchronique But these do not interfere-criticisms 1965]. paragraph Elements 302.. 2]. 101. system be opposed to the thesis of the "arbitrariness of the "A la recherche Cf. 1950. fr.Linguistics and Grammatology 175 8 . 1955-56. 14 . 17 . 34. that Lambert opposes phenomenology to aletheiology. and the same can be said of its material language. 10 . phenom~ne Speech 1973. Such 1957]. 93. Le principe 1954]. 1962]. besides. David B. 12 . Communications. Stuttgart] symbole Weltsymbol. of relaof value is made up solely "The conceptual side terms of to the other with respect and differences tions side. in Eugen Fink (Le jeu comme are presented also themes asl du monde [Spiel 1960). The signs used in writing 1) t and the between the letter for example. 7. ed. 15 . p. Bk. Fr. Beyond the scruples by Saussure an entire of intralinguistic criticism can self." Jakobson. The Philosophy Justus Selected of Peirce: Writings. of Logic.]Diogene. in Essais et conferences La chose. Paris. sound that it designates. on anything its nonbe based the final except analysis coincidence with the rest" 117-1183. Hartshorne and Paul Weiss. . there is no are arbitrary. 1931-58. Etr. formulated himp. Paris. in Kostas Vers la pensee and." de und Aufsatze. 1940]. 11 . literally "wish-to-say"] tr. intention at the discontinuity directed and improfound motivation to the structure of if not the origin proper the sign. Buchler. p. New York and London. Tubingen]. Andre Pr6au. EParis]. notably against Hjelmslev's "algebraic" point view. 2. raison. 99."["Quest La linguistique 51. [ed. Axelos. system the whole that will to draw some comparisons clarify In fact: issue. Let us recall p. Vortrage Pfullingen. Allison. 1958]. ch. in is observable an identical of affairs "Since state of signs. (cf. connection. planein ein kunfliges and Einfuhrung taire 1964. p. Cambridge. 16 . for the Essence of Language" . II. 169. Charles Elements [Collected of Logic.] Phenomenon. and Martinet. paragraph I justify of bedeuten the translation by vouloir-dire in La voix et Ze cmeaning. Denken E:iTber Marx und Heidegger. 13 . tinguish in . These Heideggerian themes refer back to Nietzobviously sche tr. use writing we shall another writing. (p. Mass. Evanston.

1183. in white or black. 19 . for instance. depend on the first. the written substance to make him notice suffice that. 16]. This third characteristic. c18a. but for certain pathoall human beings speak. related Since the graphic sign is arbitrary. d. gard for written function: writing concepts of dependency and abstraction which does are alien but not independent. and is primitive even to admit that the spoken substance It seems as if it would derived. different is that the ways: X*4 e . exactly linguist He refuses the choice of the substance is not important. where all the chapters ter of language pick up the words and arguments of Chapter to VI of the Course: "COne learns to speak before learning of spoken usage: the read:] reading comes as a reflection mine. The only rquirement with the signs sign for t not be confused in his script used for Z. all this is of no importance with respect to their signification" (p. Roman Jakobson Fundamentals of Language. 2.) from linguistics distinct is a discipline proper. of that common experience which has the force of law with"The study of Martinet concludes: in this argument. 163) Ep. its form matters little or rather matters only within the limitations imposed by the system. 42. therefore the point" (italics mine). 11) Cp. though not is closely to it. 119-120]. follows from characteristic Whether I make the letters 1). know how to speak long beor that children how to write. 4) The means by which the sign is produced is completely for it does not affect the system (this also unimportant. in tial. 19641. with pen or chisel-raised or engraved. etc. Bulletin de la Societe Hjelmslev. and Morris Halle. is purely negative and differen2) The value of letters The same person can write t. and its science . Thus the linguist operates We see how the forms" (p. p. on the vocal characLondon. p. are two correlative and differential qualities" "Arbitrary (p. [Paris. In the Elements de linguistique 1961. 17]. I shall not press fore they learn how to write. is expressed: This literal fidelity of Hjelmslev's 1. sujet des fondements de la theorie linguistique de Paris. but few know logical exceptions. for both identical to the second. Palmer. Elisabeth Elements of General Linguistics. gengrale tr. in the critical attempt ("Au exposition de L. 40): "Hjelmslev is perfectly himself when he declares that a written text has for the since the same value as a spoken text. writing although practically speaking it is one of its dependenwithout rein principle cies.176 Derrida 18 . function 3) Values in writing only through reciprocal opwithin a fixed system that consists of a set numposition ber of letters." Linguistique with consistent vol. 165-166) Cp. This proposition reverse is never true" (italics even on the level seems to me to be thoroughly debatable.

Utrecht. 1943." 1955. phonic. 48). cipes phon6mique. 54]. 1944. . IV. 8f and p. 103-104. legomena Adolf strucd'une th6orie Stender-Petersen." (P. in the Proin a very programmatic manner. 231f). of Phonetic Congress p. and Hennings 1955. sion. Essais (1943). 4. graphic. . synchronique. Joseph p. de signe et dans l'esthetique.3 de la phiZosophie. 1938. 1949. just enough "inside" to have the right or epistemological to any practical And vice versa. Francis J. V. (English p. of the substance science of graphic expresgraphematics. Sprache" to in order du Cercle de Prague 1939) VIII. terminology demonstrates how "one and the same (p. Proceedings of the Second International Sciences. In "The Word" (already cited): that in order one should to understart always speech stand the real nature of human language" (p. property." glossematic points Cf. 18f. presented aims to remedy the fact from the that. Travaux du Cercle V. 147f. p. sur les prin"Remarques de l'analyse Recherches structurales. are there of the The complexity (p. SpangHague. 24 . "Zum Problem der geschriebenen (Travaux Vachek. 19613. de Copenhague. p. ECopen"Langue et parole" linguistiques 19593. immanent but not conversely. algebra proposed of view of the distinction form and subbetween point "Saussure's can lead to confusion" stance. and finally and above all articulation in "La double du langage. 91-9" second Ctr. 25 . linguistique the word "differance" in "La differance. 53) cp. hagen. XII. it is from 3. also du langage" Essais (1954). Copenhagen. also Eli Fischer-Jorgensen. p. Baltimore. Just not to affect the inenough "outside" of the language in its itseZf.] (especially and American Trends in European "Glossematics. 114-115). essential. Bertha A Study of Glossematics cthe Siertsema." dans la glossematique vol. ch. Paris. "On the Principles of Phonematics. [ed.". Cf. de Copendu cercZe (Travaux linguistique Linguistiques of a The project and the terminology 1959)." Acta Linguistica. . 1961. 11f. 1949 (Travaux du CercZe linguistique de Prague. edition. VI). . Christine 1930-1960 Mohrmann." vol. age. and Writing.3 Linguistics. independence." Derrida presents 1972. Whitfield. 49)." La linguistique p. not stop them from being. And already. " . "Speech Uldall refers also to a study by Dr. linguistique and "the difference indicate between the phonologic of view. also translation. Hjelmslev form of expression can be manifested substances: by diverse etc." Hanssen. hague.Linguistics and Grammatology 177 21 22 23 . [25a. Marges: .and turale Stevan Johanson. flag-signals. 51. 77. "La stratification Cf. Omkring sprogteoriens grundlaeggelse as Prolegomena to A Theory of Langu(translated p. p. 41). "Esquisse "La notion de la litt6rature. tegrity pure original in its not self-identity.

" 1967. van Breda. in borrowing all from the its concents which. 11). 76). et la scene view "L'ecriture ("Freud "Freud and the Scene of Writing. p. but which he did not find this attitude behind escapes upon. against any suspicion if only to a certain extent and in very cautious proporto be on its way back to Saussure's tions. This is of the terminological of conventionalism only one example a system. the motives naturally us" (p. From our point of tigation a question view this is merely of terminology.' even seems here. of 'psychologism. or quotation some declaration a preface. 29 ." Essais 1954. that. the Husserliana. 60). translation. No. 28 . English "But. 9 (Prolegomena. etc. 48. 209. 12. Omkring. L'origine formulates the same reservaHjelmslev p.178 Derrida 26 .] tr. 'acoustic to 'concept. 1950-73. here may be conadvocated selves how much the researches order: the reasidered to the psychological as belonging son being that psychology whose seems to be a discipline definition much to be desired" still leaves ("La stratification du langage. Hague. evoked these Hjelmslev. which does not affect the maintenance of the principle". 8). many necessary of the 'purely the linguistic one is in the presence sign. Mehlman. p. p. H. have been abandoned interpretations given not to make be equivocal. But it phenomenon'"(Course.. 1972.' and equally as long as that word is image. are willing to abandon the name if epistemological invesshows it to be inappropriate. 1965." p. the same problem. GesammeZte Werke. cit.] CParis. 27 . ed.of an argument (Introduction Husserl's de la geometrie p. already posing could be fully that'the "numerous nuances Genevan Master to insist it useful aware of. because and it is better they-can We too hesitate when we ask ourthe same mistakes again. L. tr. of the between the concept the relationship It exposes . linguistiques. with however elaborated. Jeffrey Yale French Studies. 14. Which does not prevent from "venturing p. of with the two aspects reservations.' I in strict with the doctrine that interpreted conformity in short have just to recognize. of the metaphysics that it would hold at a dishistory tance believes (form/substance. 56). in the Course. analogy. c29a.] vol. 111. Anthony Mallarme Harmondsworth. psychological than a a partial of nomenclatures is rather coincidence and the real The terms introduced by Saussure. p. Hjelmslev to call" his directing an "empirical principle principle" "we he adds. 6. 28) Cp.] Hartley. 30 . it can neutralize its entire historical burden by means of of intention. C29b. (p.). content/expression. of a reading of Freud from this I have attempted point et Za de l'ecriture. 11]. differenceParis. "It is curious tions: that so long on guard linguistics. 1962. p. of the concept of origin in general As for this critique we have elsewhere and/or transcendental) attemp(empirical to ted to indicate the schema. marks. op.

when it was brought place the unfaithful eye. or was brought back by Thoth. seeing that its place had been taken. He inscribed the accounts before the Last Judgment. P. 33 . from which men were born (a) The eye shed tears (rrmyt) the mythic origin of men clearly rests upon a (rgmet). 87-88) p. simple word-play (Jacques Vandier. formed it into the serpent-uraeus and placed it on his forehead as the symbol of his power. of their eye. to another version. and in the sacrificial ceived a solar counterpart: it was said that the universal master." (op. This legend . also performed essential in funeral rites. later re- 32 . the eye returned on its according Whatever the case own. 39-40).Linguistics and Grammatology 179 31 . "Linguistique p. Horus' eye was wrenched to return was obliged out. finally vanquished. back by Shou and Tefnout. tion can be related to the story of the eye in Rousseau. at the origin of the world. but Seth. trace and the structure of "a-retardation" which I mention above. et "La trace de l'autre. particularly.. cit. intrigued the moon was created by the Sun-god to ing to one legend. He also occupied the of the secretary/substitute function who usurped first of the king. Re transIn appeasement. might have been. was seen. place: For example: "As a general rule. Thoth. Horus' eye became the lunar eye. for some unknown reason. 19443. world. physique: L'ecriture September 1963. le charged to be without an eye. 245. besides. evoked in Phaedrus. During the combat. . he was the conductor of the dead. tians called shall see that the oudjat eye played a considerable role in the funerary religion. of the technical inventor writing ruse.U. of this high function of the Another myth tried to explain the vicissitudes moon by a periodic battle were Horus whose protagonists and Seth. Shou and Tefnout to bring it back. and my essay "Violence Essai sur la penske d'Emmanuel Levinas. became very angry (a). The absence of the to retwo messengers lasted so long that Re was obliged The eye. the Egyptian god of Among many other examples. et theorie de la communication. p. like everything that touched the astral Accordthe Egyptians greatly. functions When the opportunity offered. This myth of substitu- filosofie. Cf. 'the healthy one. Tidjschrift voor et meta- . This theme inhabits more than one mythological system. Horus received it. and his eye back joyfully. the father. to his victorious opponent the eye that he had lifted. The Egypput it back in its place after purifying We that eye oudjat. The moon. ceremony. La religion egyptienne. itself at night: it was Thoth whom Re designated replace for the exercise of substitution." CParis. the analogue of Hermes." la diffgrence. he charged it to defend him against his enemies.F. the sun. in the Osirian legend.

ences. "Ousia et Gramme. 1971. generale guistique to say here that it is not impossible that the literality of the Course. the Diogene concerning article "homogealready de cited. [Geneva]. Op. the time of 'consecutivity' proper to habitual language. influetc." (p. 38 .--and hid it in a determined Linguistics seemed . p. essay is 106." L'ecriture et la difference.] I have chosen to demonstrate the necessity of this "deconstruction" the Saussurian references. Paris. 254. one leaves tempo (and in another time). 13. . 1964. in a text whose literality has played a well-known role since 1915. borrowings. I take the liberty of referring to a forthcoming essay. operating within a system of readings. for the lJp to what point is Saussure responsible Course as it was edited and published after his death? It is not a new question. 70]. to which we have indeed had to refer. has been fundamentally it should be project misunderstood. this text. now included See also 64f) [p. note sur une note de Sein und Zeit" [this cit.] everything 38f]. of the Anagrams Cnow published. p. clear by now that. February as Les mots sous les mots: [37a. by privileging not only because Saussure still dominates contemporary and semiology.-180 Derrida 34 . But Saussure's his interminable hesitascruples. 35 . 190f. Jean Starobinski. also Mercure de France. les anagrammes ENow published de Ferdinand p. about Ferdinand de caring very little Saussure's I have interested myself very thought itself." One could of course say "proper to the habitual concept" of time and of language. ed. misunderstandings. What I could read--and equally what I could not read-under the title of A Course in General all hidden and "true" important to the point of excluding of Ferdinand de Saussure. here at we cannot consider it to be pertinent? Unless my least. it is also because he seemed to linguistics us to hold himself at the limit: at the same time within the metaphysics that must be deconstructed and beyond the which he still concept of the sign (signifier/signified) uses. see particularly thinking note 371. p.] Presenting Saussure. in the matter of the difference betions. Starobinski evokes a musical model and concludes: "This reading is developed according to another at the very limit. in Marges: de Za philosophie. 103 [p." through reading Robert Godel's Les sources manuscrites du cours de lin- Suffice it 1957. p. particularly tween the two "aspects" of the sign and in the matter of are better understood "arbitrariness. intentions If one were to discover that this text hid another text--and there will never be anything but texts. neous time. Derrida comments on this Latinate use of "sollicitation" in "Force et signification. Need we specify that. refutations. should one day appear very suspect in the light of unpubI am lished material now being prepared for publication. 36 37 . Cf.

this ." situation. proposed for that particular reason. of the Course themselves foresee the editors "Preface. at least invalidated. Besides. Quite at the very end of their first the contrary.Linguistics and Grammatology 181 I have just the reading that would not be sense.

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