Le Mémoire de Saussure : diachronie et structure
(reviewers: Roland Noske, Daniel Petit)
Abstract: Saussure’s Mémoire sur le système primitif des voyelles dans les langues indo-européennes (1879) is a decisive contribution to the comparative grammar of Indo-European languages. It involves a new definition of “root”, a demonstration of the functioning of apophony (or ablaut) mechanism and the discovery of laryngeals. In general linguistics, Saussure indirectly provides an answer to this question: What are the internal transformations that lead us to consider two states of the same language, in the course of its development, as two distinct systems, in other words, as two different languages? The splitting of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) into different (families of) languages provides a good example.
Bergounioux, Gabriel. 2022. “Le Mémoire de Saussure : diachronie et structure”. Radical: A Journal of Phonology, 3, 125-167.