Geneva School (Linguistics)

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The Geneva School is a direction of structuralism in linguistics. It consisted in particular of students and successors of Ferdinand de Saussure . The circle of linguists, initially also called Cercle F. de Saussure and since 1941 CFS , tried to clarify the terms used by Saussure.

Representatives are u. a. his successors in office Charles Bally and Albert Sechehaye , who published Saussures Cours de linguistique générale posthumously , as well as Karcevski and Frei .

The Geneva School emphasizes the following aspects: According to Bally's theory of updating, speaking ( parole ) is seen as the transfer of virtual terms into real expressions through updating. Emphasizes Bally's views on the syntagm and theory of functional transposition (changing grammatical function while maintaining lexical meaning).

A “real development” of structuralism is said not to have taken place in the Geneva school.


  • Homberger, specialist dictionary for linguistics (2000) / structuralism
  • Lewandowski, Linguistic Dictionary 1 / Geneva School, 4th edition (1984)
  • Ulrich, Winfried, Basic Linguistic Terms / Geneva School, 5th ed. (2002)

Web links

Wiktionary: Geneva School  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Lewandowski, Linguistic Dictionary 1 / Geneva School, 4th ed. (1984)
  2. ^ Lewandowski, Linguistic Dictionary 1 / Geneva School, 4th ed. (1984)
  3. Homberger, Subject Dictionary for Linguistics (2000) / Structuralism