The impact of the concept of notion in the analysis of the functioning of language

Valentim, H. T. (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


The metalinguistic concept of notion, proposed by Antoine Culioli under the TOPE (Theory of Predictive and Enunciative Operations), questions the inherent stability of certain theoretical assumptions that shaped some of the linguistic studies with expression during the twentieth century as well as others that characterize more recent studies. Notions correspond to a set of properties that cannot be reduced to a complete set of traits (Culioli, 1985). Therefore, it compromises the Saussurian relationship between signifier and signified. Similarly, because notions consist of representations that vary from speaker to speaker at praxiological, cultural and linguistic levels, it compromises the treatment commonly given to the lexicon, whose meaning is reduced to a stabilization at the definition level. The aim of this study is to analyse is to propose a reflection on some characteristics of the notions starting from the evidence that there is a dissymmetry between the lexicon and the notions for which the lexicon refers, thus, arguing that the establishment of lexical notions is prior to the linguistic forms and constructions. Thus, notions are more complex and more primitive than the lexicon. It is also intended to demonstrate the fact that the concept of notion compromises the sometimes stagnant distinction between lexicon and grammar. We will base our reflection on an analysis of various linguistic phenomena of the construction of meaning (semantics), such as the functioning of English, French and Portuguese modal verbs and the reflexive and non-reflexive grammatical constructions in French and Portuguese, illustrating the way linguistic markers, as ‘representatives of representations’ (Culioli 1985: 16), are always within in a context. This fact leads to the conclusion that notion is filtered in two ways: by the lexical clipping that a certain language prefigures and by the context. We will take as a starting point the notes of DEA 1983-1984, in which Culioli establishes, in an explicit way, the bases of his conception of the notion.
Period25 Oct 2018
Event title4th international Congress on Figurative Thought and Language: null
Event typeConference
LocationBraga, Portugal
Degree of RecognitionInternational