\ ˈläⁿg How to pronounce langue (audio) \

Definition of langue

: language viewed abstractly as a system of forms and conventions used for communication in a community also : competence sense 1c — compare parole

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In lectures delivered at the University of Geneva from 1907 to 1913, Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure set forth his groundbreaking distinction between "langue" - the systematic, structured language existing at a given time within a given society - and "parole," the individual use of that language by a person. In French, "langue" literally means "language." It was adopted into Middle English with that same general meaning but fell into disuse. "Parole" is also a French word; it means "speech" and is related to Late Latin parabola, the base of our English word parable.

Examples of langue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Kate Cox, Tech Policy Reporter: Oui, il faut l'utiliser quand écrire dans une langue utilisant des signes diacritiques. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 12 Apr. 2020 In tarnished silver light the royal ravens spoke la langue verte, the green tongue of living speech. L. S. Asekoff, Harper's magazine, 19 Aug. 2019 In the grand colonial period, tableware, menus, etiquette and equipment were dominated by the langue françoise from Madagascar to Moscow. Jim Kempton, Orange County Register, 2 Aug. 2019 The recommendation was put forth by the Commission d’enrichissement de la langue française, which works in conjunction with the Academie Française to preserve the French language. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 16 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'langue.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of langue

1924, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for langue

French, literally, language

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Cite this Entry

“Langue.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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