Antoine Meillet

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Meillet, Antoine


Born Nov. 11, 1866, in Moulins; died Sept. 21, 1936, in Châteaumeillant. French linguist. Member of the Académic des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres (1924) and of many foreign academies and societies. Corresponding member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences (1906).

Meillet studied at the Sorbonne and became a professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes (1891) and at the College de France (1906). In 1889 he became a member of the Paris Linguistics Society, serving as its secretary from 1906 to 1936.

Meillet was a follower of F. de Saussure; he led the sociological school of linguistics. His chief works were devoted to comparative Indo-European linguistics, to specific language families, including the Slavic, Germanic, and Iranian, and to individual languages, including Greek, Latin, Armenian, and Hittite. In collaboration with M. Cohen, Meillet published Languages of the World (2nd ed., 1952).


Les Dialectes indo-europeens, 2nd ed. Paris, 1922.
La Méthode comparative en linguistique historique. Oslo [et al.], 1925.
Linguistique historique et linguistique generale, 2nd ed., vols. 1–2. Paris, 1926–36.
In Russian translation:
Vvedenie v sravnitel’noe izuchenie indoevropeiskikh iazykov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1938.
Obshcheslavianskii iazyk. Moscow, 1951.
Osnovnye osobennosti germanskoi gruppy iazykov. Moscow, 1952.


Shcherba, L. V. “Pamiati A. Meillet.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1966, no. 3.
Sommerfelt, A. “Antoine Meillet: The Scholar and the Man.” In Portraits of Linguists, vol. 2. Bloomington-London, 1966.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Com efeito, para Emile Durkheim, Marcel Mauss e Antoine Meillet, aos quais se somaram mais tarde Marcel Granet e Emile Benveniste, a comparacao deveria estar no cerne de toda a reflexao sobre essa dimensao especifica da Natureza que e o Social.
Saussure had always said he would never publish his reflections on general linguistics (Engler 45), yet he felt compelled to such theorizing, since, as he wrote to his friend Antoine Meillet, the lack of adequate terminology to show the general nature of language as an object of study was spoiling his enjoyment of historical linguistics (Morpurgo Davies 27).
From the coining of the term by Antoine Meillet in 1912, one comes to appreciate that Semitists were cognizant of the process without knowing it had a specific label, nor were they aware down through the decades of the twentieth century of the general linguistic literature in this field.
Not content with these bold but textually derived hypotheses, Parry then sought to prove them by analogy in the living laboratory of South Slavic oral epic, to which his own mentor Antoine Meillet and the Slavic philologist Matija Murko had alerted him.