XIV Международная студенческая научная конференция Студенческий научный форум - 2022


Артемьева А.А. 1
1ВлГУ им. А. Г. и Н. Г. Столетовых
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Ferdinand de Saussure is a Swiss linguist who laid the foundations of semiology and structural linguistics, who stood at the origins of the Geneva Linguistic School. The ideas of Saussure, who is often called the "father" of linguistics of the XX century, had a significant impact on the humanitarian thought of the XX century as a whole, inspiring the birth of structuralism.

While still a student in Leipzig, Saussure published a memoir about the original vowel system in Indo-European languages. The memoir (written in 1878), remained the only work published by Saussure, which played a huge role in the development of comparative historical linguistics and the value of which has not been lost in our time.

In 1880, Saussure defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic "On the functions of the genitive absolute in Sanskrit".

In 1881, he transferred to Paris, where he lectured at a higher school for ten years, first on Germanic languages, and later on the comparative grammar of Indo-European languages.

In 1891, Saussure returned to Geneva as a university professor, where he read Sanskrit (Sanskrit is the literary language of ancient and medieval India and the comparative grammar of Indo-European languages.

Important work of Saussure - the Course of General Linguistics - was published in 1916, after the death of the scientist. This book was created based on the notes of his students - linguists Charles Bally and Albert Seshe. It was because of the publication of the Course that Saussure's views on the nature of language and the tasks of linguistics became widely known among the numerous theoretical provisions of the Course, it is especially important to distinguish between diachronic (diachronic linguistics is the study of language in different periods of history.) and synchronic (Synchronic linguistics is the study of language at any given time) linguistics.

The scientist believed that the study of changes occurring in the historical development of the language is impossible without careful synchronous analysis of the language at certain moments of its evolution. The comparison of two different languages is possible only on the basis of a preliminary thorough synchronous analysis of each of them.

Finally, according to Saussure, linguistic research is only adequate to its subject when it takes into account both diachronic and synchronic aspects of language.

The second most important provision of Saussure's theory is the distinction between the knowledge of a language by its native speaker and the use of language in everyday situations.

Saussure emphasized that linguists should distinguish the set of units that form the grammar of a language and are used by all its speakers when constructing phrases in a given language from specific utterances of specific speakers, which are unpredictable.

A common set of units for all speakers, Saussure called language, and specific statements of individual native speakers - speech. It is language, not speech, that is the true object of linguistics, since the actual description of a language should reflect a system of elements known to all its speakers.

So, Ferdinand de Saussure in his writings touched upon the most important issues of the science of language.

The main thing in his linguistic concept is the doctrine of oppositions: language - speech, synchrony- diachrony, internal - external linguistics, paradigmatics - syntagmatics, system -unsystematic.

The great merit of Saussure in the history of linguistics is that :

- with the doctrine of the semantic coefficient paved the way for the search for a way to pronounce speech sounds;

he made the issues of language – speech, synchrony – diachrony, external–internal linguistics, syntagmatics - paradigmatics, systematics, signedness central in his research, thereby contributing to attracting the attention of other linguists to them;

- following Wilhelm von Humboldt, he recognized the social nature of language;

- developed a theory of the value of a linguistic sign;

- predetermined the emergence of the science of signs (semiotics).


1. Ferdinand de Saussure - General Linguistics Course (1933)

2. Ferdinand de Saussure - Works on Linguistics (1977)

3. Ferdinand de Saussure - Notes on General Linguistics (2000)

4. V. M. Alpatov - History of Linguistic Studies (2005)

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