A contribution to the definition of ‘dynamic synchrony’

Between Martinet and Jakobson

  • Vincenzo Orioles Univeristy of Udine
Keywords: Prague linguistic circle, Vilém Mathesius, André Martinet, Roman Jakobson, dynamic synchrony


After having outlined in the first part how Saussure’s linguistic thought on the distinction between synchrony and diachrony is far more com- plex than the so called Saussurean vulgata suggests, the article explains how the Prague Linguistic Circle plays a crucial role in overcoming this antinomy: in this context particular attention is devoted to the figure of Vilém Mathesius, who uses the term ‘oscillation’. However, the construct that gives shape to this conceptual turning is that of dynamic synchrony, documented in the works of Roman Jakobson (starting from 1961) and André Martinet (1968). There follow some reflections about the texts of both linguists in order to propose a critical evaluation of this metalinguistic device: beside the points in common there are differences and peculiarities mostly due to a distinct vision of the variation of linguistic systems.