Bust of Eugen Coseriu, a Romanian international authority in Romance philology, in his native Moldova
Eugen Coseriu was a former professor of linguistics and an international authority in Romance philology. He is known worldwide for his contribution to the field of linguistics. Born in the Moldovan village of Mihaileni, his bust was installed today in front of the high school which bears his name.
The monument was sponsored by the “Moldova Foundation”, the German Embassy in Moldova and other private companies. The bust of him cost 150,000 lei ($12,500). The work was sculptured by Gheorghe Gheorghita from Iasi, Romania – the place where Coseriu spent his first student years.
Coseriu, a great Moldovan personality, pursued his first degree at the University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” of Iasi (Romania) in which he majored in linguistics. Afterwards, he won a scholarship to study in Italy where he completed two PhDs (one in linguistics and one in philosophy). After his studies in Rome and Milan, Coseriu moved to Uruguay where he worked until 1963 as a professor at the University of Montevideo.
He returned to Europe and conducted lectures at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, the University of Strasbourg in France and three other universities in Germany (Bonn, Frankfurt and Tübingen).
Eugen Coseriu settled in Tübingen, Germany in 1963. He started working as a professor of Romance Linguistics and became the head of the Department. His literature became a milestone in the philosophy of language and linguistics and had a strong influence in Germanic and Slavic linguistics as well.
According to the Historical Dictionary of Moldova (2007), Eugen Coseriu wrote books about the roots of the Romanian language and its relationship to other Romance languages.
After Coseriu’s death in 2002, the University of Tübingen opened the “Eugen-Coseriu-Archives” which stores a collection of more than 1,000 unpublished manuscripts.
Johannes Kabatek is Coseriu’s successor at the Department of Romance Philology (Linguistics) and also the director of the archives. When asked about Coseriu by Moldova.ORG, Mr. Kabatek stated that Coseriu is “the most important linguist of the last century.”
The current chair of the Romance Philology at the University of Tübingen said he is trying to further develop Coseriu’s linguistic paradigm as his works provide a significant theoretical approach that is helpful in understanding linguistic phenomena.
“His contribution to the university was fundamental, but it was a contribution far beyond the university: Coseriu has many disciples all around the world and he was the leading figure for more than one generation of linguists, above all in Romance linguistics,” Johannes Kabatek said.
Vlad Spanu, the Head of the “Moldova Foundation” based in Washington, D.C. said in a statement that he welcomed the initiative to erect Coseriu’s bust in his native village and financially supported the monument. Their contribution spiked to $5,000.
“During his scientific and academic work, Coseriu has demonstrated that he is one of the best representatives of his peoples,” Vlad Spanu said. “His is called the ‘parent’ of the integral linguistics, being among the most important linguists of the twentieth century.”
By Valeriu Gonta