Langue as a Social Fact
Saussure tended increasingly toward sociological rather than psychological formulations of
In Saussure’s view is a “treasury” or “collection of impressions” that is “deposited” in identical form in the brain of each member of a given speech community. He uses the metaphor of a dictionary, of which every individual possesses an identical copy. What the individual does with this socially-shared system falls entirely into the realm of parole.
In terms of, sociolinguistics pursued his view of the social nature of . By the mid-1930s it was commonplace to equate “ ” with “ ”. By the early 1950s inquiry combining empirical sociological and linguistic techniques was underway, to be refined significantly by William Labov and others in the 1960s.
In terms of, Sociolinguistics pursues the view of the social nature of langue, which Chomskian Generative Linguistics (to which Sociolinguistics has stood in irreconcilable contrast for a generation) pursues the Saussurean view of the mental and abstract nature of langue.