But the Superstructuralist notion of this instrument is none the less very different to the usual Anglo-Saxon notion. The Superstructuralist notion is founded upon the concept of 'langue', as first advanced by Saussure. Saussure considered himself a scientist, and argued, for instance, that the down-toearth reality of speech should take precedence over the idealized propriety of writing. But at the same time, he argued that 'langue' should take precedence over 'parole', i.e. that the system of language in general should take precedence over the sum total of all the actual utterances ever actually uttered. This is a most surprising argument from the point of view of the natural sciences – where the positive physical facts are the only appropriate evidence. But, as Saussure recognized, the positive
12 S u p e r s t r u c t u r a l i s m
physical facts are not sufficient to account for language as language, as signifying and bearing information.