Language as an “independent unit”: Ferdinand de Saussure vs. Paul Boyer


  • Daria Zalesskaya University of Lausanne, Department of Slavic and South Asian Studies



Paul Boyer, pedagogy, “language-in-itself ” methodology, translation, Ferdinand de Saussure


Didactics and semiotics are two fields that have been interconnected for a long time. Russian language teaching in France in the 20th century, especially in its first half, had several interesting didactic features closely related to the understanding of Ferdinand de Saussure’s theoretical conceptions. Through the works of influential Slavist professor Paul Boyer (1864–1949), some of Ferdinand de Saussure’s ideas became reflected in French didactics in a particular way, providing the basis for a new method of teaching Russian as a foreign language. The article offers an analysis of the textbook Manuel pour l’étude de la langue russe by Boyer and Nicolas Spéransky, as well as of the teaching method “language-in-itself ”, with the objective to identify the references to the Course in General Linguistics and to consider their reflection in didactics.


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How to Cite

Zalesskaya, D. . (2022). Language as an “independent unit”: Ferdinand de Saussure vs. Paul Boyer. Sign Systems Studies, 50(1), 133–142.