Begründer des Strukturalismus, 1908-2009.


To invite the mythologist to compare his precarious situation with that of the linguist in the prescientific stage is not enough. As a matter of fact we may thus be led only from one difficulty to another. There is a very good reason why myth cannot simply be treated as language if its specific problems are to be solved; myth is language: to be known, myth has to be told; it is a part of human speech. In order to preserve its specificity we should thus put ourselves in a position to show that it is both the same thing as language, and also something different from it. Here, too, the past experience of linguists may help us. For language itself can be analyzed into things which are at the same time similar and different. This is precisely what is expressed in Saussure's distinction between langue and parole, one being the structural side of language, the other the statistical aspect of it, langue belonging to a revertible time, whereas parole is non-revertible. If those two levels already exist in language, then a third one can conceivably be isolated.

Lévi-Strauss, Claude (1955): The Structural Study of Myth, in: Journal of American Folklore, 68.270, S. 430.

Siehe auch den Artikel Lévi-Strauss' strukturale Mythenanalyse.

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