Yuri Lotman: On problems of language and linguistics

2022. №1, 106-119

Suren T. Zolyan
Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, Kaliningrad, Russia; Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, Yerevan, Armenia; surenzolyan@gmail.com


We attempt to systemize Yu. M. Lotman’s views on language and linguistics. “Language” is one of his most used terms. Lotman’s vision is based on the postulates of Saussurean linguistics, mainly in the version of Prague structuralism. At the same time, Lotman off ers a new look at solving the language speech dichotomy. He outlines the possibilities of an alternative conception, where the function of meaning-generation (rather than meaning-preservation) is considered dominant in information transmission. Pointing out to the inadequacy of linguistic methods in describing the processes of textual implementation of the language system, Lotman proposes several solutions that create the possibility of a neo-structuralist version of linguistics. It develops the tradition of the system-structural approach to language; the formalism of such approach is complemented by constructivism to describe communication and meaning-production processes.

For citation:

Zolyan S. T. Yuri Lotman: On problems of language and linguistics. Voprosy Jazykoznanija, 2022, 1: 106–119.


This research was supported under the Russian Federal Academic Leadership Program “Priority 2030” at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University.