Opposition, comparison, and associativity: On Luis J. Prieto as a reader of the Cours de linguistique générale
This paper aims to show the role played by the relations of comparison and associativity, as they are introduced in Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale, in the theories of Luis J. Prieto. This is done, first, on the basis of a historiographical approach, and second, on the basis of an exegetical approach to Prieto’s works. Thus, the paper first presents and analyses three programmes, corresponding to three courses Prieto gave at the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba during the early 1950s. The analysis of these programmes will show the centrality of Saussure’s Cours in Prieto’s linguistic theorizing. After this, an attempt will be made to show the continuity between the theoretical tenets presupposed by the courses’ programmes and the main proposal advanced in Prieto’s article “Classe et concept. Sur la pertinence et sur les rapports saussuriens ‘de comparaison’ et ‘d’échange’”. By constructing this continuity we attempt to show: (1) the constant influence the Cours exerted upon Prieto’s thinking throughout his whole career, and (2) that such influence is manifested in the fact that Prieto did not generalize linguistic principles as such, but rather posited that linguistic principles were instances of more general semiotic ones.