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The Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) was one of the most significant figures in linguistics and semiotics during the 20th century. His Course in General Linguistics, first published in 1916, has long been considered to be the seminal work in the field of language study. Paper Masters can compose a custom written research paper on Saussure that follows your guidelines.

Saussure's Early Years

  • Born and raised in Geneva
  • Saussure became a teacher at the University of Geneva in 1891, a post he held for the remainder of his life.
  • Saussure taught Sanskrit and Indo-European languages, and began lecturing on linguistics in 1907.
  • Saussure's work was the basis of much of structural linguistics, which maintains that elements of human culture must be viewed in terms of a larger structure.

Saussure's Famous Works

His most famous work, Cours de lingusitique generale, was actually a compilation of his lecture notes, put together by two of his students following Saussure's death. Its innovative approach to linguistics made it the seminal work on the subject for much of the 20th century, although Saussure's work in general has come under heavy criticism. Most modern linguists describe Saussure's work as outdated. However, his predictions regarding the use of laryngeal sounds in the Indo-European language were proven correct following the decipherment of Hittite, half a century following his death. One modern scholar influenced by Saussure has been American thinker Noam Chomsky.

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