Problems in General Linguistics

An Expanded Edition, Volume 1

By Émile Benveniste

Edited by Jordan Skinner
Translated by Mary Elizabeth Meek
With an Introduction by Jordan Skinner

First published fifty years ago, Émile Benveniste’s two-volume Problèmes de linguistique générale revolutionized the study of linguistics and remains among the most influential texts in the field. This expanded edition of the first volume presents the original English translation by Mary Elizabeth Meek, produced in close collaboration with Benveniste himself, along with his hitherto untranslated articles on play, translation, singular and plural forms, and Indigenous North American languages. These works are contextualized by an introduction by editor Jordan K. Skinner and a preface by Roland Barthes. This new edition will delight linguists and philosophers already familiar with Benveniste and introduce his work to a new generation of students. Benveniste studies are going through an enthusiastic revival in Europe; after reading this book, readers elsewhere will understand why.


Émile Benveniste (1902–1976) was a French linguist and semiotician who taught at the Collège de France until 1969. He is the author of many works on language, including Dictionary of Indo-European Concepts and Society, also published by HAU Books. With Claude Lévi-Strauss and Pierre Gourou, he cofounded the anthropological journal L’Homme.

Jordan K. Skinner is a doctoral student in the English Department at Princeton University, where he works on medieval literature, the history of philosophy, and philosophies of language. He is an active member of the Benveniste Circle at the University of Calgary.

Mary Elizabeth Meek was professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh. She edited, translated, and annotated Guido Delle Colonne’s Historia Destructionis Troiae and coedited Twelve Dancing Princesses, a volume of fairy tales.

© HAU Books 2024
6″ x 9″, 164 pp.

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