Michel Pêcheux

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Michel Pêcheux (1938–10 December 1983)[1] was a French linguist and philosopher. He is best known for his theoretical, experimental and practical contributions to the field of discourse analysis, starting in the late 1960s.


In the 1960s, Pêcheux became involved with the journal Cahiers pour l'Analyse, where he began developing his own unique model of discourse analysis.[2] In all of his contributions to the Cahiers, Pêcheux used the pseudonym Thomas Herbert.[2]

He is the father of the French branch of discourse analysis, developed with concepts from historical materialism, linguistics and psychoanalysis, inspired by Louis Althusser, Ferdinand de Saussure and Jacques Lacan.[3]

Pêcheux's work on discourse analysis had an impact in Brazil, where his writings were translated into Portuguese by Eni Orlandi, who continued his work and advanced the theory in Brazil. The subject is part of the Letters and Social Communication program at some federal universities, such as Fluminense Federal University.[citation needed]

Selected bibliography[edit]

In French
  • Analyse automatique du discours. Paris, Dunod (1969)
  • Les vérités de la Palice. Paris, Maspero (1975)
  • La langue introuvable. Paris, Maspero (1981) with Françoise Gadet
In English translation
  • "Discourse: Structure or Event?", trans. Warren Montag, with Marie-Germaine Pêcheux and Denise Guback. In Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, eds. Cary Nelson and Lawrence Grossberg. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1988, pp. 633–650.
  • "Ideology: Fortress or Paradoxical Space?". In Rethinking Ideology: A Marxist Debate, eds. Sakari Hanninen and Leena Paldan. New York: International General/IMMRC, 1983.


  1. ^ "Michel Pêcheux (1938-1983)". bnf.fr (in French). Bibliothèque Nationale de France. 5 January 2018. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Thomas Herbert [Michel Pêcheux] (1938–1983)". Cahiers pour l'Analyse. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  3. ^ Helsloot, Niels; Tony, Hak (May 2007). "Pêcheux's Contribution to Discourse Analysis". Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research. 8 (2, Art. 1). Retrieved 7 February 2018.

External links[edit]