Joseph Vendryes

Joseph Vendryes

French linguist
Date of Birth: 13.01.1875
Country: France

  1. Biography of Joseph Vendries
  2. Contributions
  3. Contributions to Linguistic Theory

Biography of Joseph Vendries

Joseph Vendries was a renowned French linguist, celtologist, and Indo-Europeanist, with interests in general linguistic problems. He was a member of the Academy of Inscriptions and Honorary Doctor of many universities. Vendries studied under A. Meillet in Paris and in Freiburg, and later taught at the Higher Practical School, where he chaired the Celtic Studies department, and at the Sorbonne from 1907 to 1946. He was the founder and editor of the journal "Etudes Celtiques" together with his student M.-L. Sjoestedt.


Vendries authored numerous studies on the language, literature, and religion of Celtic peoples, as well as co-authored an Irish etymological dictionary. He, along with A. Meillet, published the monograph "A Study on Comparative Grammar of Classical Languages" in 1924. Vendries also conducted research on ancient Greek accentuation.

One of Vendries's most popular books was "Language: A Linguistic Introduction to History" (written in 1914, published in 1921 due to the outbreak of World War I, and translated into Russian in 1937). This book presented the fundamental achievements of general and comparative-historical linguistics in an engaging and accessible manner, making it suitable for beginners.

Contributions to Linguistic Theory

Vendries embraced the "sociological" concept of language put forth by Saussure and Meillet. As a theoretician, he made significant contributions to the development of the concepts of language norms, idiolects, and sociolects.

Joseph Vendries enjoyed great popularity for his contributions to linguistics and his ability to present complex linguistic concepts in a comprehensible way. His research has had a lasting impact on the field and continues to be influential today.