Ferdinand de Saussure. USSR. 1950…


  • Ekaterina Velmezova Université de Lausanne, Centre de linguistique et des sciences du langage / University of Tartu, Faculty of Arts and Humanities




Ferdinand de Saussure, history of Soviet linguistics, structuralism and semiotics, Marrism, linguistic discussion of 1950 in the USSR


During the linguistic discussion organized in the Soviet newspaper Pravda in 1950, Ferdinand de Saussure was mentioned only a few times, but the corresponding references are important from the point of view of both the opinions about Saussure that were prevalent in Soviet linguistics before the discussion, and in light of its evolution afterwards. In 1950, both a supporter and an opponent of Marrist linguistics, Ivan Meschaninov and Arnold Chikobava respectively, unconditionally agreed on at least one thing: namely, that the theories of Saussure were, from their point(s) of view, unacceptable for “progressive” Soviet linguistics. This criticism of Saussure shows the significant shift made by Soviet humanities in the middle of the last century over the course of just a few years: in the late 1950s, it was the “revision” of the main theses of the criticism of Saussure that made possible the (relative) triumph of structuralism, which finally took place in the Soviet Union in the 1960s.


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How to Cite

Velmezova, E. . (2022). Ferdinand de Saussure. USSR. 1950…. Sign Systems Studies, 50(1), 163–172. https://doi.org/10.12697/SSS.2022.50.1.09