Course in General Linguistics ushered in the structuralist mode which marked a key turning point in modern thought. Philosophers such as Jacques Derrida and Roland Barthes, psychoanalysts such as Jacques Lacan, the anthropologist ClaudeLevi-Strauss and linguists such as Noam Chomsky all found an important influence for their work in the pages of Saussure's text.
One of Saussure's translators, Roy Harris, summarized Saussure's contribution to linguistics and the study of language in the following way:
"Language is no longer regarded as peripheral to our grasp of the world we live in, but as central to it. Words are not mere vocal labels or communicational adjuncts superimposed upon an already given order of things. They are collective products of social interaction, essential instruments through which human beings constitute and articulate their world. This typically twentieth-century view of language has profoundly influenced developments throughout the whole range of human sciences. It is particularly marked in linguistics, philosophy, psychology, sociology and anthropology".
Read online: Third Course of Lectures on General Linguistics