The notes taken by Saussure's student Emile Constantin were not available to the editors of the published "Cours de Linguistique Generale" (1916), and came to light only after World War II. They have never been published in their entirety. The third and last course of lectures, of which Constantin kept this very full record, is generally considered to represent a more advanced version of Saussure's teaching than the earlier two. It is clear that Constantin's notebooks offer a text which differs in a number of significant respects from the "Cours" published by Saussure's original editors, and bring forward ideas which do not emerge in the 1916 publication. They constitute unique evidence concerning the final stages of Saussure's thinking about language. This edition of the notes is accompanied by an introduction and a full English translation of the text. There has been no attempt made by Komatsu and Harris to turn the English into readable prose. Constantin's notes, even as revised by their author, retain the infelicities, repetitions, abruptness - occasionally incoherences - that betray the circumstances of their origin. The volume constitutes an important landmark essential documentation for all scholars and libraries specializing in the subject. It should be of interest to scholars, historians and linguists interested in the history of modern linguistics.
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Text: English, French
Original Language: French
...the original sequence is respected, and marginalia and erasures incorporated but clearly indicated in the body of the text. Thanks to the editors/translators, we thus have a clearer picture of what the third 'cours' was like, and this in itself makes this volume worthwhile. The other justification for the volume is that these notes had not before been translated into English. -- Carol Sanders, Journal of French Language Studies
1994 ...a rich and important resource, a 'must-read' for anybody doing serious research on Saussure and his work. -- Karen Steffen Chung, Historiographia Linguistica
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