Geneva School

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For the educational establishment in Florida, see Geneva School, Winter Park

Geneva School refers to the group of linguists based in Geneva who pioneered modern structural linguistics. The most prominent figure of this school was Ferdinand de Saussure. Other important colleagues and students of Saussure who comrpise this school include Albert Sechehaye, Albert Riedlinger, Sergej Karcevski and Charles Bally.

The two successors of de Ferdinand de Saussure

One significant linguistic book connected with this school is 'Cours de languistique générale', the main work of de Saussure, which was published by his students Charles Bally and Albert Sehechaye. The book was based on lectures with this title that de Saussure gave three times in Geneva from 1906 to 1912. Sehechaye and Bally took not part themselves in these lecture classes. They used notes from other students, the most important of these students was Albert Riedlinger, who provided them the most material. Furthermore Bally and Sehechaye continued to develop de Saussure's theories, mainly focusing on the linguistic research of speech. Sehechaye also concentrated on syntactic problems.

Charles Bally

Apart from de Saussure, Charles Bally also plays an important role in linguistics. He lifed from 1865 to 1947 and was like de Saussure from Switzerland. His parent were Jean Gabriel, a teacher, and Henriette, the owner of a cloth store. Bally was married three times: first with Valentine Leirens, followed by Irma Baptistine Doutre, who was sent into a mental institution in 1915 and Alice Bellicot. From 1883 to 1885 he studied classic language and literature in Geneva. He continued his studies from 1886 to 1889 in Berlin where he was awarded a PhD. After his studies he worked as a private teacher for the royal family of Greece form 1889 to 1883. Bally returned to Geneva and taught at a business school from 1893 on and moved to the Progymnasium, a grammar school, from 1913 to 1939. At the same time he worked as PD at the university form 1893 to 1913. Finally from 1913 to 1939 he had a professorship for general linguistic and comparative Indo-German studies which he took over of Ferdinand de Saussure. Besides his works about subjectivity in the French Language he also wrote about the chrisis in French language and language classes. Today Charles Bally is regarded as the founding father of linguistic theories of style and much hounored for his theories of phraseology.

Works by Charles Bally

-Traité de stylistique française, 1909 -Le Langage et la Vie, 1913 (31952) -Linguistique générale et linguistique française, 1932 (21944)

Recommended Literature about Bally's theories

-G. Redard, «Bibliographie chronologique des publications de Charles B.», in Cahiers Ferdinand de Saussure 36, 1982, 25-41 -W. Hellmann, Charles B., 1988 -S. Durrer, Introduction à la linguistique de Charles B., 1998