Definition - The Saussurean term for a language system (e.g. English).

1. As opposed to parole, which is any speech act. In other words, saying something we want to say is parole, whereas the set of rules and conventions that our language restricts us to use is langue.

Example -

(1) "How's it going" (parole)
(2) English (langue)

Etymology -
The term derives from the French langue, language.

Oxford English Dictionary -
Its first citation is from 1924:
"This rigid system, the subject-matter of ‘descriptive linguistics’, as we should say, is la langue, the language."
(L. Bloomfield in Mod. Lang. Jrnl. VIII. 318)

Quotation -
"Langue is not spoken by anyone: it is the sum total of all the paroles spoken by individuals …."
(Source: Anthony Burgess, Mouthful of Air, 18)

Please comment