From: Stephen Anderson <stephen.andersonyale.edu>
Subject: Obituary: Sebastian Shaumyan (1916-2007)
This note was provided by Prof. Stanley Insler of Yale University, and
lightly edited by Prof. Stephen Anderson, who assumes responsibility for
any errors that may have been introduced.
Sebastian Konstantinovich Shaumyan, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at
Yale University, died in London on January 21, 2007 at the age of 90. Born
in Tbilisi on February 27, 1916, Shaumyan first studied philology in
Tbilisi and then linguistics in Moscow, where he became a strong advocate
of the structural linguistics initiated by de Saussure and developed by the
Prague School. His research in this area culminated in 1965 with the
publication of ''Structural Linguistics.'' In the same year he founded the
Section of Structural Linguistics at the Institute of Russian Language in
In 1975 Professor Shaumyan joined the Yale Linguistics Department, where he
developed a linguistic approach called applicational grammar. He expanded
this linguistic view in ''Applicational Grammar as a Semiotic Theory of
Natural Language'' (1975) and in ''A Semiotic Theory of Language'' (1987).
Although required to retire in 1986, Professor Shaumyan remained active in
the field. His final book, ''Signs, Mind and Reality,'' was published in 2006.
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