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Saussure For Beginners
W. Terrence Gordon, Illustrated by Abbe Lubell
ISBN: 9781939994417
Book (Paperback)
For Beginners
6 x 9
128 pages
B&W Illustrations throughout
July 1, 2015


A concise, accessible introduction to the great linguist who shaped the study of language for the 20th century, Saussure for Beginners puts the challenging ideas of Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) into clear and illuminating terms, focusing on the unifying principles of his teachings and showing how his thoughts on linguistics migrated to anthropology.

Ferdinand de Saussure’s work is so powerful that it not only redefined modern linguistics, it also opened our minds to new ways of approaching anthropology, literary criticism, and psychoanalysis. Saussure felt that 19th century linguistics avoided hard questions about what language is and how it works. By 1911, he had taught a general linguistics course only three times. Upon his death, however, his students were so inspired by his teachings that they published them as the “Course in General Linguistics.”

Saussure For Beginners takes you through this course, points out the unifying principles, and shows how these ideas migrated from linguistics to other subjects.

W. Terrence Gordon has published more than twenty books including Marshall McLuhan: Escape into Understanding (Gingko Press) and Linguistics For Beginners. Gordon has also been the editor of the Marshall McLuhan Publishing Program at Gingko Press for the past 12 years, and is currently Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When he is not busy writing or teaching, Gordon photographs the haunting beauty of Nova Scotia, Canada, where he has lived since the 1970s.
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Abbe Lubell was born in Queens, NY in 1962. She graduated from Oberlin College and then received an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in NY. She has worked as a designer for Tiffany & Co. for many years and has exhibited her paintings sporadically. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband Paul Gordon and two daughters, Sophia and Halle.
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