Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 15


KOUASSI Roland Raoul & KOUADJO Koffi Hilaire University of Cocody, Abidjan

RSUM: Le dveloppement de la science linguistique a toujours t caractris par un mouvement constant vers la structure intime de la langue avec pour objectif de dvoiler les oprations qui prsident aux phnomnes de la chaine linaire A la fin des annes !" et au dbut des annes #", une nouvelle approche de rflexion linguistique a t propose par des linguistes tels que $ustave $uillaume, %mile &enveniste et 'oman (a)obson L*ide fondamentale sous+tendant cette conception thorique tait la libration du phnomne , parole -, jusque l. mure par le structuralisme et la grammaire gnrative et transformationnelle /ls se sont investis dans la traque des oprations et mtaoprations constituant l*assiette de l*explication des noncs de surface Cette approche a eu l*appellation de thorie de lnonciation, linguistique des o rations, ou encore linguistique du su!et" Ce papier vise . prsenter le modle d0Antoine Culioli qui est le prcurseur de la thorie des oprations nonciatives MOTS CLS : oprations, mtaoprations, nonciateur, lexis, nonciation

ABSTRACT: 1he development of linguistics has been a regular progress to2ards the inner structure of language to sort out the operations underlying the phenomena at the linear chain level /n the late !"s and early #"s, a ne2 trend 2as set forth by linguists such as $ustave $uillaume, 3mile &enveniste and 'oman (a)obson 1he fundamental idea 2as the disclosing of the 4speech4 phenomena, loc)ed up by structuralists and generative and transformational theorists 1hey too) up to found a theory accounting for the operations and metaoperations occurring 2ithin language, as core elements for the explanation of utterances 1his trend has been named enunciation or linguistics of o erations or linguistics of the utterer or the uttering act" 1his paper aims at present the model of Antoine Culioli, 2ho has been the forerunner of the uttering act theor# KEY WORDS: 5perations, metaoperation, utterer, lexis, uttering act

INTRODUCTION $eneral linguistics is addressed on the standpoint of t2o different approaches 1he first involves the concept of 7langue8 and is investigated by theories such as structuralism and generative grammar 2hile the second is )no2n 2ith reference to 7parole8 2hich is the subject of study of uttering act theories 1hese theories are in turn t2ofold9 a pragmatic approach and a grammatical approach 1he approach of Culioli refers to the grammatical aspect relying on the utterer as the center of language production 1he objective of this paper is to overvie2 the theory of Culioli )no2n as the uttering act theory so as to shed light on its specificities going from its early development up to its recent evolution :e therefore suggest to overvie2 the early developments of the $heor# of the Utterer 2ith reference to both $ustave $uillaume and 3mile &enveniste as pioneers of the concerned theory before addressing the model of Culioli

I. SOME FORERUNNERS 1he development of the science of linguistics has gone through a series of disruptions since the early #"s Under the epistemological pressure of philosophers, linguists, and other scientists, the practice of linguistic analyses 2ill undergo sharp modifications as to the behavior of the scientific object and the descriptive and;or explanatory approach A great number of linguists have ever since oriented their analyses in the bosom of the metalinguistic operations, prior to the surface concatenation /n order to do so, linguists have to consider the dynamism of the object and that of the uttering act 1hose 2or)s 2ill inspire Antoine Culioli in the foundation of his %inguistique des o rations nonciati&es '%O()" Among the forerunners of that trend are :ilhelm $ustav <reiherr von =umboldt, $ustave $uillaume, 'oman (a)obson and 3mile &enveniste /n this part, 2e shall present, briefly, the precursors 2hose 2or)s have been driven by the concept of o erations, 2ith the utterer as the )ernel phenomenon in the linguistic analysis


I.1. Gustave Guillaume /n spite of the belated recognition of the greatness of his 2or)s6, $ustave $uillaume remains a )eystone in the constitution of a linguistics based on the activity of the utterer or the reality of the language practice :e shall present $ustave $uillaume in three steps9 I"*"*" +uillau,e, the e iste,ologist $ustave $uillaume undertoo) to found a linguistic method based on an analytically rigorous and demanding spirit <or $uillaume, scientific research consists in setting a po2erful analytical scheme to trac) do2n the invisible hidden above the visible 1he quality of the explanations 2ill depend on the quality of the comprehension and this latter, on the quality of observation 5bservation, according to $uillaume must be analytical and not deceptively direct9 On e- lique selon quon a su co, rendre. on co, rend selon quon a su o/ser&er"0 <or $uillaume, the scientist must move a2ay from the data of the first observation and operate abstractly I"*"0" +uillau,e and the linguistic ,echanics 1he theory of $ustave $uillaume relies on the assumption that language is energeia and not ergon" =e does not totally )eep the dyadic presentation of <erdinand de ?aussure9 %A1+U( 2 3ARO%( 1he presentation he gives is the follo2ing9 LA@$UA$3 ; A/?C5U'?3

$ustave $uillaume 2as allo2ed to lecture his s#cho,echanics of language in 6BCD, supported by (oseph Eendrys, 3mile &enveniste and, posthumously, by Antoine Feillet $ustave $uillaume died in 6B#" > ?ee $ustave $uillaume, %angage et science du langage, 6B#"

$uillaume preaches for a scientific attitude that consists in discovering the marvelous theory inherent to the system of systems GlanguageH ?ince language is not directly observable, the linguist should analyIe discourse 'the ,anifestations, the consequences) in order to grasp the language 'the s#ste, of conditions)4

Process of analysis DIS5OURS( Direct o/ser&ation GConsequencesH Process of uttering %A1+UA+( anal#tical o/ser&ation GConditionsH

1he linguist must have a theoriIing behavior in 2or)ing out the linguistic phenomena =e has to set a tool, a model, 2hich 2ill enable him to comprehend the process of construction of the system and reveal the extraordinary order Gits intimate theoryH lying belo2 the apparently chaotic phenomena 2e experience 1he purpose is to understand the types of relations bet2een the different elements of the system 1he linguist has to dismantle the system and unveil the systematic structure, the organiIation of language =e 2ill then be able to state the structuring rigor of that system /n order to have a handle on the intimate structure of language, $ustave $uillaume suggests that the linguist posit the dialectics language 2 ,ind"6<or $uillaume, language is constructed in the mind of the spea)er G s#chos#ste,atics or intuitional ,echanics or te, us ri,u,H on 2hich a system of sign 2ill lie G s#chose,iolog# or te, us secundu,H Language is mentally built up before being a physical reality 1he psychomechanic movement is then divided into t2o parts /n its constructed state, a language is thus a combinatory relation bet2een a psychosystematics and a psychosemiology GpsychosemioticsH ?uch a scientific attitude, according to $ustave $uillaume, shall lead the linguist to figure out the remar)able inner natural clearness of language 1he systematicity of the theory of $ustave $uillaume lies in the discovery of the /inar# organi7ation of the s#ste, of s#ste,s" A microsystem made of /efore 2 after 2ill be the foundation for a great number of his analyses9 /mmanence



Cf $ottfried :ilhelm LeibniI 4language is the mirror of the mind4

EirtualiIation vs Kast Condition Cause Language vs vs vs

actualiIation consequence effect Aiscourse

vs after+past

/n the linguistic analysis, $ustave $uillaume made t2o major discoveries9 the 8inetics of the article and the chronogenesis of the &er/al9te, oral s#ste," 1hese phenomena are explained by a simple binary fact As for the article, the system is tension * &s" tension 04

Unive sal 1

$ension *

Pa ti!ula

$ension 0

Unive sal "

1he article, in language represents a 2hole process &ut in discourse, it is a moment of this process from U6 to U> 1he tension * represents the functioning of the operator a and the tension 0, the functioning of the operator the" :e shall provide a deeper explanation of this )inetic system in another presentation $uillaume discovered the chronogenetic s#ste, in trying to understand the follo2ing utterance9 SI &ous le faites et :UI% sensui&e un ,alheur, on &ous en tiendra rigueur" G/f you do it, and a misfortune does occur, you 2ill be held accountable for that H =e tried to understand the reason 2hy there occurs a subjunctive form after que and 2hy there is an indicative form after si" $uillaume discovered that there is a dynamic movement from the &irtual to the resent 'current)" SI is a tracer of the &irtuali7ation of a current ele,ent 2hereas QUE ,ar8s the actuali7ation of a &irtual ele,ent4

SI &3<5'3

:U( A<13'



1he theory of $uillaume not only asserts the dynamic aspect of language but it does give the reasons to say so ?cience does not live out of truth but out of proofs, Antoine Feillet used to say $uillaume has given the proofs that language is a systematic and active set 3ach unit in the system holds a given position and does function in a 2ay fundamentally different and opposed to the others I"*"6" +uillau,e, a forerunner of the $heor# of O erations 1he theory of $ustave $uillaume is governed by the fact of accounting for the system by the scientist 2hile remaining inside or 2ithin the boundaries of language Foreover, language is not a phenomenon that one can directly experience 1he linguist should start by the analyses of its manifestations called discourse" <rom discourse, the scientist is then able to conjure up the system and express its regularities and even its irregularities 1he linguistics of operations 2as founded on the assumption that the principle of immanence can impede the 2ay to understanding language and its functioning processes 1he reality of language is the instance of discourse, communication, verbal interaction, performance or arole" ?ince language is an abstract set, one can only come bet2een reach of its manifestations A direct contact is then not possible =ence, a sound scientific theory is liable to turn to the materialiIation of the system, the production into context and, through a po2erful analytical movement sort out the internal theor# of language 1his little passage is sufficient to prove that $ustave $uillaume is among the noted forerunners of the linguistics of operations <or $uillaume, the concept of discourse is central in the construction of language 1hus said, he ta)es into account the activities of the utterer, his2her ,ental acti&ities" 1hese activities are fundamental in the process of describing and #

explaining the structuring processes occurring 2ithin language 1his theory then does deserve the appellation of uttered9centered linguistics" $ustave $uillaume has paved the 2ay to a sound linguistics, 2hich 2ill deserve its position in the sphere of the demanding community of science" Another important step in the development of uttered+centered linguistics is sho2n through the 2or)s of 3mile &enveniste

I.". Emile #enveniste

I"0*" ;en&enistes erce tion to the uttering act theor#

1he approach of &enveniste 2as influenced by ?aussure*s vie2 of the study of linguistics /n fact, ?aussure in 5ours de lingustique gnraleJ distinguishes bet2een langue and arole and suggests to consider langue instead of arole for homogeneity and generaliIation matters &enveniste in turn 2ill be interested in the couple langue and arole and )eep the latter as the basis of any linguistic study Let he did not reject langue" Another significant step in &enveniste*s study is the concept of communication, 2hich helps him address the issue of sign and semantics I"0"0" ;en&enistes theor# of enunciation Communication is of )ey significance in &enveniste*s analysis /n 3ro/l<,es de linguistique gnrale!, he states communication as the factor 2hich better illustrates the utterer 2ith reference to intersu/!ecti&it# 1here starts his famous quotation9 =lnonciation est cette ,ise en fonctionne,ent de la langue ar un acte indi&iduel dutilisation> ?"

J !

?aussure, 5ours de linguistique gnrale, 6B6# &enveniste, 3ro/l<,es de linguistique gnrale I, Karis, $allimard 6B## G>nd editionH # &enveniste, op cit

1hus stated, the utterer becomes the most significant variable to ta)e into account in the production of the utterance Language becomes therefore very dynamic since considering the utterer amounts to envisaging language as an activity 1he study of communication involves t2o main elements that are sign and se,antics / > > 6+ 1he linguistic sign and semantics According to &enveniste, the sign both involves the signifier and the signified so that he vie2s 7langue8 as made of t2o entities9 semiotics is the level 2here the sign is perceived 2hereas semantics is identified as the universe of the utterer, and so, that of discourse As language is meant for communicating, meaning becomes very important Feaning is not in fact ta)en for granted, it results from the action, or more, the activity of the utterer 2ho activates language through the use of 7 arole8 / > > > 1he utterer &enveniste states the utterer as 7/8 facing 7you8, the co+utterer 1he use of 7/8 evidences subjectivity as related to time and space 7/8 is qualified as 7ego8, the space as 7hic8 and time as 7nunc8 1he time of events is related to 7parole8 and is ordered 2ith regard to discourse &enveniste vie2s the present as the best representation of time through 2hich the utterer endorses his utterances As a brief summary, it can be noted that &enveniste is )no2n as being the first to explicitly refer to the term uttering act 2hen addressing the issue of communication /n this field, there are t2o main distinctions to put for2ard9 entities 2ith full and permanent states should be differentiated from those stemming from the utterer 2hose existence is made possible because of the factor of inter+subjectivity 1he main feature of uttering act is the actualiIation of the discursive relation to the linguistic partner represented as follo29 ?ubject langue discourse meaning

&asing on the abovementioned facts, &enveniste*s vie2 helps understand the approach of Antoine Culioli II. THE THEORETICAL SCHEME OF ANTOINE CULIOLI II.1. T$e t$e% eti!al &%un'ati%ns &asing on the 2or)s of &enveniste, $uillaume and (a)obson, Culioli ta)e to set up a po2erful linguistic model in theoriIing the linguistic o erations" <or Antoine Culioli, the linguistic analysis shall be oriented to2ards 7le langage a rhend

@ tra&ers les langues naturellesA" 1he purpose is to succeed in theoriIing language and not a given system of language 1o reach this objective, the linguist must see to found a systematic and rigorous method of analysis and reconstruct the object of the linguistic science =e has to establish a theory to approach the observed phenomena Ga theor# of o/ser&ationH /n the reconstruction of the object of analysis, Antoine Culioli 2ill follo2 the 2ay that has been paved by $ustave $uillaume and 3mile &enveniste to2ards a linguistics of discourse" ?uch a 2ay of picturing the linguistic analysis goes against the conceptions of de ?aussure and Choms)y /n Culioli*s theory, the utterer is the center of the analysis =e posits that language is a set of activity or o erations intrinsically lin)ed to an utterer 1he analysis shall then consider the rocess of roduction" 1his process of production is composed of the different steps the utterer sets in motion during the uttering act" Culioli suggests that this uttering act be the siege of analyses According to him, the construction of utterances relies on various operations that are activated by the utterer Culioli believes in the concepts of surface and deep structure too, but vie2s them 2ith reference to structuring operations /n fact, the production of utterances involves three complementary levels 2e suggest to analyse 1he operations in the uttering act are the follo2ing9

II"*"* $he le-is sche,a 1he first level ta)es into account a set of three notional entities called notions Culioli defines the notion as a bundle of physical and cultural properties 1he notions are both grammatical and lexical 1hey are not constructed nor contextualiIed 1he uttering act starts 2ith a primitive relation and a lexis schema noted N0,1,O, 2here 0,1 are variables for

arguments and , a variable for operators of predication P", refers to the first argument, P6, the second argument and the variable for operators of predication /t refers to the binding operator that builds up the predication /t is also the binding operator that builds up the predicative mode II"*"0 A le-is After the lexis schema, comes the lexis At this level, there is an instantiation of a schema by terms 2hich have themselves been constructed from notions A lexis is noted GlambdaH 1his second level is called the assignment level /t consists in assigning lexical units to void places according to the primitive relations inherent to physical and cultural properties 1he lexis is said to be pre+assertive /t is a dictum, a le8ton or a set of paraphrases Ga paraphrastic familyH, a set of propositions /t is not an utterance since it is neither asserted nor unasserted Q Nplayer, goal, scoreO

II"*"6 Assertion 1he third level is the assertive level 2here the utterer endorses his utterance 1his is the place 2here all possible operations are made in line 2ith the produced utterance, in concrete situations of communication At this stage, an utterer endorses the lexis G) =e;she locates the lexis 2ithin a situation of utterance G?itH9 Sit ( S, T )


All the utterances do display this unique axiom Nplayer, goal, scoreO Sit0 (S0, T0) 1he player scores the goalR S

1he utterer is the )ey notion in the theory of Culioli in that he;she is the one 2ho 2ill ta)e the lexis into charge and ma)e it effective =e 2ill apply some operations of modulation and modality according to the parameters of the situation of utterance /t is then a utopia 2hen trying to explain the linguistic phenomena regardless of the utterer 1he utterer is the one 2ho organiIes the linguistic event II.". T$e s!$eme %& Ant%ine Culi%li Antoine Culioli has organiIed a research team around the enunciati&e o erations" 1he objective of this team T made of philosophers, psychologists, anthropologists, linguists, mathematiciansS T is to account for the enunciative phenomena and present an accurate image of language in general 'language uni&ersals)" After these explanations, the scientist 2ill have to formaliIe the regularities Gand irregularitiesH of language and come to a mathematical programming in setting up a scheme of algorithms to account for the linguistic phenomena observable in all natural languages /n this attitude to formaliIation, the scientist has to fathom the operations lying behind the surface structure T formaliIing the surface is paraphrasing T and found a formal enunciative system 1he purpose of such a formal system is to reduce the amount of subjectivity in the scientific explanations and assure the transportability and malleability of the theory 1he formaliIing project of Culioli is T definitely T a complex project 1his is 2hy Culioli*s team is made of researchers 2hose various disciplines are to help grasp the entire dynamism of the object 1he linguistic phenomenon being al2ays ne2 T as a quantum T a probabilistic theory seems to be much more suitable to express the results 1his probabilistic characteristic is the basis of many critics against the formaliIing project of the linguistic facts Unfortunately, for Culioli, this is the only 2ay to prove the scientific aspect of the science of language" <ormaliIation ma)es the theory much more systematic, much more efficient and much more rigorous 66

1he formaliIation project demands a co+operation among different fields, bet2een the mathematician and the linguist for instance =o2ever, the tools are not automatically to come from the field of mathematics Galgebra, geometry, topologySH 1he items offered by the mathematician have to be corroborated as far as the behaviors of the linguistic phenomena are concerned and adapted or rejected 1he linguist can found some metaoperators that are suitable to account for the facts studied /f the behavior of the quantum has been formaliIed through a ro/a/ilistic function of the Ba&e, the enunciative operations can also be formaliIed Antoine Culioli has proposed a set of metaoperators to systematiIe the linguistic phenomena 5ne of the most important items is the ,etao erator of location or locating o erator4

1he concept of location is fundamental to the theory of Culioli insofar as, for him, uttering consists in constructing a set of locating parameters A term is said to be located 2hen it has been specified, situated or determined /n the theory of operations Gor theor# of the le-isH, a unit acquires a specific value by means of a system of location M 1his operation of location is a binary operation bet2een a locator and a located ele,ent4

U L GU is located relative to LH
1he complexity of this system of location depends on the spatiotemporal data of the utterer or the 2ay she or he vie2s the relations9


/n the uttering act process, the system of location can be represented as follo2s9

?ee ( &ouscaren et al , Introduction to a %inguistic +ra,,ar of (nglish 4 an Uttered9centered A 6BB>, p 6!"



V ?it6 G?6, 16H

?it" G?", 1"H

<or Culioli, there is an utterance 2hen a lexis V is located 2ithin a situation of utterance or enunciati&e situation" 1his location is formaliIed by the ,etao erator e silon . 3psilon is a complex operator encompassing9

Q GidentificationHW X Gdisconnection); GdifferentiationHW GfictionH

:e shall give some details belo2 1he term location refers to specific concepts9 a located term is one 2hich has been specific or determined 1he basic idea is that linguistic objects only acquire a determined value by means of a system of location /n the theory of Culioli, the relation of location is al2ays binary 1o construct a binary relation, 2e use a unary operator GepsilonH9 N x y O reads 7x is located relative to L8 can have several values9

6H /dentification GQH U Q L reads 7U is identifiable 2ith L8 but not identical >H Aifferentiation G H


U L reads 7U is not identifiable 2ith L8 or 7U is located relative to L8 and is consequently different from L CH Aisconnection G H U L reads 7U is neither identifiable 2ith L, nor different from L8 1his means that the location is not carried out relative to L JH <iction GH 2hich is a mixed value of the first three operators GQ, , H either or Q neither nor Q Gi e9 H can be both and Q

1o illustrate these categoriIations, 2e shall ta)e the case of pronouns9 :ith 7/8 2e have S Q ? GS 9 utterer and ?9 grammatical subjectH :ith 7you8 S ? =e;she S ? 2e S Q ? they S ? 5ne S ?

1hese forms put for2ard the utterer*s vie2 of the situation according to the operation carried out by him

CONCLUSION 1he project of Antoine Culioli is to set up a linguistics that 2ill deserve the appellation science" 1his project of Culioli, as seen above, is based on three main assumptions9 first, the object should be the operations lying beyond the surface formsW second, the objective should be language and not a specific language systemWand finally, the linguist should theoriIe and set up a formaliIed model to ensure objectivity and theoretical efficiency 6J

Foreover, Culioli advocates for a fruitful co+operation bet2een neighboring fields so that the marvelous phenomena of language should be accurately thought through and formaliIed #I#LIOGRAPHY &3@E3@/?13, 3mile, 3ro/l<,es de linguistique gnrale II, Karis $allimard, 6BMJ &5U?CA'3@, ( , ( C=UYU31 et L AA@5@+&5/L3AU, Introduction to a %inguistic +ra,,ar of (nglish 4 an Uttered9centered A roach, Karis, 5phys, 6BB> CUL/5L/, Antoine, 3our une linguistique de lnonciation 4 o rations et re rsentations, to,e *, Karis, 5phrys, 6BB" CUL/5L/, Antoine, 3our une linguistique de lnonciation 4 for,alisation et o rations de re rage, to,e 0, Karis, 5phrys, 6BBB $U/LLAUF3, $ustave, %angage et science du langage, Yubec, Laval, 6B#" ?AU??U'3, <erdinand de, 5ours de linguistique gnrale, Karis, Kayot, 6B6#