Benveniste and the issue of linguistic temporality

Time of enunciation and its relationship to Bergson and Husserl’s ideas of time

  • Giovanni Manetti
Keywords: Enunciation, time, Benveniste, Husserl, Pos


The problem of time and its representation through language is addressed on several occasions in Benveniste’s writings on general linguistics, ranging from 1956 to 1970. Time lies at the center of the issue of enunciation and, in its form of “present tense”, is inextricably linked to the position and perspective of the speaking subject. It is precisely in reference to the different aggregations of temporal forms that Benveniste also proposes the famous dichotomy between “history” and “discourse”. But Benveniste’s perspective expands beyond linguistic reflection, also taking into consideration the philosophical conception of time. In this context, it is possible to find a reference to the contemporary theories of Bergson and Husserl.