Ferdinand de Saussure: Cours de linguistique générale [Course in General Linguistics] (2038 words)


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For Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) – as for many others – the act of writing was fraught with difficulties: how can one put into writing a thinking process that never ceases to evolve? Saussure’s Cours de linguistique générale – to this day his most enduring and celebrated work – was in fact edited posthumously (1916) by two of Saussure’s own students, Charles Bally and Albert Séchehaye, in collaboration with Albert Riedlinger.

The Cours de linguistique générale is a relatively short work written in clear French prose, which continues to prevail as a key text in contemporary Social and Human Sciences. Saussure is widely acknowledged as the father of structuralism (though he himself never used the …

Citation: Mevel, Pierre-Alexis. "Cours de linguistique générale". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2010 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=19828, accessed 24 September 2020.]

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