Ferdinand de Saussure

Ferdinand de Saussure (fĕrdēnäN´ də sōsür´), 1857–1913, Swiss linguist. One of the founders of modern linguistics, he established the structural study of language, emphasizing the arbitrary relationship of the linguistic sign to that which it signifies. Saussure distinguished synchronic linguistics (studying language at a given moment) from diachronic linguistics (studying the changing state of a language over time); he further opposed what he named langue (the state of a language at a certain time) to parole (the speech of an individual). Saussure's most influential work is the Course in General Linguistics (1916), a compilation of notes on his lectures.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Western Tradition from Socrates to Saussure
Roy Harris; Talbot J. Taylor.
Routledge, 1997 (2nd edition)
Uses of 'Structure' in Communication Studies
Richard L. Conville.
Praeger Publishers, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "From Linguistics to Poetics: Saussure at Play"
Language and History: Theories and Texts
Tony Crowley.
Routledge, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 1 "For and against Saussure"
Plastic Glasses and Church Fathers: Semantic Extension from the Ethnoscience Tradition
David B. Kronenfeld.
Oxford US, 1996
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Saussurean Roots, Structural Linguistics, and Basic Concepts"
Semiotics: The Basics
Daniel Chandler.
Routledge, 2002
Librarian’s tip: "The Saussurean Model" begins on p. 18
Postmodernism and Social Inquiry
David R. Dickens; Andrea Fontana.
UCL Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "The Origins of Semiotics: Saussure and Pierce" begins on p. 156
Structuralism and Semiotics
Terence Hawkes.
Routledge, 2003 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Ferdinand de Saussure begins on p. 8
Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Postmodernity
John Lechte.
Routledge, 1994
Librarian’s tip: "Ferdinand de Saussure" begins on p. 148
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