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Related to Diachrony: synchrony and diachrony



(1) A set of methods of linguistics intended for the analysis of the historical development of a language.

(2) The corresponding area of general linguistics, which is opposed to synchrony. According to F. de Saussure, the subject of diachronic linguistics is the relations that connect elements in a historical sequence that is not perceived by one and the same collective consciousness—the elements replacing one another but not forming a system. The subject of synchronic linguistics is the logical and psychological relations that connect coexisting elements and form a system (how these elements are perceived by one and the same collective consciousness). C. Bally accepted Saussure’s view of synchrony and diachrony. The majority of linguists, while accepting the opposition of synchrony and diachrony itself, reject its absoluteness (the Swiss scholar A. Sechahaye, the Belgian scholar E. Buyssens, E. Coseriu). N. S. Trubetzkoy, R. O. Jakobson, and others, following Baudouin de Courtenay, believe that diachronic study does not exclude the concept of system and that synchronic description cannot entirely exclude the concept of evolution. Most modern linguists share this opinion. From the very beginning, the categorical nature of the opposition of synchrony and diachrony has been alien to Russian linguists, although this opposition is, in itself, justified as a methodological technique.


O sootnoshenii sinkhronnogo analiza i istoricheskogo izucheniia iazykov. Moscow, 1960.
Saussure, F. de. Kurs obshchei lingvistiki. Moscow, 1933. (Translated from French.)
Coseriu, E. “Sinkhroniia, diakhroniia i istoriia.” In the collection Novoe v linqvistike, issue 3. Moscow, 1963.
Budagov, R. A. Problemy razvitiia iazyka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965.
Baudouin de Courtenay, I. A. Izbrannye trudy po obshchemu iazykoznaniiu, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from French.)


References in periodicals archive ?
According to Remm's careful reading of the thinkers in his sociocultural analysis, including time-related notions in the construction of theoretical models about culture and society and thereby overcoming its ambivalent character, assumes an integrated approach to culture's diachrony and synchrony.
At the end of the 1950's and in the early 1960's, Chomsky, in an effort to return to rationalism, drove diachrony and synchrony into the person.
A fundamental diachrony, while not unique to Reformation Christianity, is a heightened characteristic of it, the linguistic dimensions of which await further exploration.
Overall, his narrator underlines the need to view one's multiple selves over the diachrony of time.
Variation and diachrony, with Early American English in focus: Studies on 'can/may'and 'shall/will'.
Levinas's philosophy of time; gift, responsibility, diachrony, hope.
Deploying the conventions of one-point perspective to convert the diachrony of the musical score into the synchrony of a visual field, each "implosion" implies a new version of the score as a noise composition, all the notes melding into a simultaneous cacophony of indeterminate duration.
Besides the dialogue within the discipline and between disciplines, the elaboration of the methodology of studying translation and translating also points to the need for a dialogue between diachrony and synchrony.
Framing an historical chiasmus, this approach strongly parallels Fredric Jameson's tensional view of structuralism and temporality in The Prison-House of Language (1972), which finds its balance early in the remark: "To say, in short, that synchronic systems cannot deal in any adequate conceptual way with temporal phenomena is not to say that we do not emerge from them with a heightened sense of the mystery of diachrony itself.
One major outcome of this kind of understanding of language structure is that diachrony and synchrony fade into each other--synchrony is at the same time diachrony since even the synchronic structure crucially depends on repetition and the experience of individual speakers.
It covers a fragmentary historicosocial body, both in a vertical sense (historical diachrony, its formation in layers), and in an extensive sense (the different events of regional history which have produced various, virtually contemporaneous little languages, dialects, and successive different dialectizations of the koine).
Already Greenberg (1957: 89) had noted that there is an important interplay with diachrony to consider (cf.