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Tradition and Innovation in Language and Linguistics

A Coserian Perspective

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Cristinel Munteanu

This volume consists of twelve studies thematically grouped into three parts: (1) Linguistics and Philosophy of Language, (2) Hermeneutics and Text Linguistics, and (3) Lexicology and Phraseology. The phrase «tradition and innovation» characterizes almost all the texts included here, since tradition and innovation are present both at the level of the object (language) and at the level of its research (linguistics). The dominant theoretical perspective is the «Coserian» one, since the author borrowed from Eugenio Coseriu’s linguistic theory a series of essential concepts and distinctions regarding language and culture.

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IX. Approaching Synonymy from the Integral Linguistics Point of View

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1. In this paper I aim to prove the importance of Eugenio Coseriu’s linguistic theory in the study of synonymy, by synthesizing, at the same time, some results I obtained in my doctoral dissertation, Sinonimia frazeologică în limba română din perspectiva lingvisticii integrale (“The Phraseological Synonymy in the Romanian Language from the Integral Linguistics Point of View”] (see Munteanu 2007).67 Until I refer to my own contributions, I should, first of all, ask myself whether Coseriu himself was interested in the study of synonymy or if some of his disciples (either direct or indirect) did this, and if so, up to what extent.

2. Even if, at times, Eugenio Coseriu makes some observations on synonymy, he did not write a special study on this topic. What is more, he uses the words synonymy and synonyms between inverted commas.

2.1. The same happens with the terminological phrase «sinonimia cognitiva» (“cognitive synonymy”68) by which he means those situations of equivalence in designation (such as: John read this book – This book was read by John) given as examples in the transformational-generative grammar (see Coseriu 1981: 155–157). And, in general, if Coseriu does not use inverted commas, he associates determiners such as: “the supposed”, “the so-called” to the term synonymy; e.g.:

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