Eugenio Coseriu

Coseriu, Eugenio


Born July 27, 1921, in Mikhaileni, Bessarabia. Philologist; specialist in general and Romance linguistics.

In 1939–49, Coseriu studied at the universities of Iaşi, Rome, Padua, and Milan. In 1951–63 he was a professor at the University of Montevideo in Uruguay, and in 1963 he became a professor at the University of Tübingen in the Federal Republic of Germany. Coseriu is concerned with problems of the theory, methodology, and philosophy of language—for example, the relationship of synchronic and diachronic study, the causes of historical changes in language, linguistic typology, and structural semantics.


“Sinkhroniia, diakhroniia i istoriia. (Problema iazykovogo izmeneniia).” In Novoe v lingvistike, issue 3. Moscow, 1963.
Sistema, norma y habla. Montevideo, 1952.
Forma y sustancia en los sonidos del lenguaje. Montevideo, 1954.
Teoria del lenguaje y linguística general: Cinco estudios, 2nd ed. Madrid, 1969.


Spence, N. C. W. “Towards a New Synthesis in Linguistics: The Work of Eugenic Coseriu.” Archivum Linguisticum, 1960, vol. 12, fascicle 1.
Vintilǎ-Řdulescu, I. “Eugenio Coseriu et la théorie du langage.” Revue roumaine de linguistique, 1969, vol. 14, no. 2.


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Ida Zatelli, following the work of Eugenio Coseriu, defines functional language as a "definite technique of discourse" (p.
Examples proving the opposite include the fully aspectual Slavic verbal system with the opposition perfective:imperfective, and the Portuguese temporal verbal system with its six main forms, which are grouped in three oppositions (see the exemplary analysis of the Romance verbal system by Eugenio Coseriu, Das romanische Verbalsystem [Tubingen: Gunter Narr, 1976], 91-123, esp.