Albert Sechehaye

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sechehaye, Albert


Born July 4, 1870, in Geneva; died there July 2, 1946. Swiss linguist.

Sechehaye graduated from the University of Geneva and in 1902 received a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Göttingen. He became a privatdocent at the University of Geneva in 1902 and a professor there in 1929. From 1941 to 1946 he was president of the Geneva School of General Linguistics. A student of F. de Saussure’s, Sechehaye investigated the theory of language, the logical structure of the sentence, the combination of the individual and the social in linguistic facts, and the problem of the linguistic sign; he was the first to set forth the views of the Geneva school. He advanced the idea of the pregrammatical affective individual elements of expression, which were transformed into grammatical signs regarded in isolation (associative grammar) and in combinations (syntagmatic grammar). Proceeding from the concept of the mutual conditionality of language and speech, he proposed a study of the functioning of language (“the linguistics of organized speech”) to stand alongside static and evolutionary linguistics.


Programme et méthodes de la linguistique théorique. Paris-Leipzig-Geneva, 1908.
Essai sur la structure logique de la phrase. Paris, 1926.
In Russian translation:
“Tri sossiurovskie lingvistiki.” In V. A. Zvegintsev, Istoriia iazykoznaniia XIX-XX vekov v ocherkakh i izvlecheniiakh, part 2. Moscow, 1965.


Iordan, I. Romanskoe iazykoznanie. Moscow, 1971. Pages 485–98. (Translated from Rumanian.)
A Geneva School Reader in Linguistics. Edited by R. Godel. Bloomington, Ind.-London, 1969.(References.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are at least four threads running through this book on linguists Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) Albert Sechehaye (1870-1946), says Seuren.
His name is affixed to the Cours de linguistique generale (1916; Course in General Linguistics), a reconstruction of his lecture notes and other materials by two of his students, Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye. The publication of this work is frequently considered the starting point of 20th-century linguistics.