René de Saussure

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René de Saussure
René de Saussure.jpg
Portrait of René de Saussure, before 1909.
Born(1868-03-17)17 March 1868
Died2 December 1943(1943-12-02) (aged 75)
OccupationEsperantist, professional mathematician
Known forInventor of Esperanto II
RelativesFerdinand de Saussure (brother)
Rene de Saussure signature.svg

René de Saussure (17 March 1868 – 2 December 1943) was a Swiss Esperantist and professional mathematician (he defended in 1895 a doctoral thesis on a subject in geometry in Geneva), who composed important works about Esperanto and interlinguistics from a linguistic viewpoint. He was born in Geneva, Switzerland. His chef d'oeuvre is an analysis on the logic of word construction in Esperanto, Fundamentaj reguloj de la vortteorio en Esperanto ("Fundamental rules of word theory in Esperanto"), defending the language against several Idist critiques. He developed the concept of neceso kaj sufiĉo ("necessity and sufficience") by which he opposed the criticism of Louis Couturat that Esperanto lacks recursion.[1]

A ligature of uppercase S and lowercase m.
Spesmilo symbol

In 1907, de Saussure proposed the international currency spesmilo (₷). It was used by the Ĉekbanko esperantista and other British and Swiss banks until the First World War.

Beginning in 1919, de Saussure proposed a series of Esperanto reforms, and in 1925, he renounced Esperanto in favor of his language Esperanto II. He later became a consultant for the International Auxiliary Language Association, the linguistic research body that standardized and presented Interlingua.[2] He died on 2 December 1943 in Berne, Switzerland.

René was the brother of the famous linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and the scholar of ancient Chinese astronomy, Léopold de Saussure. His father was the famous scientist, Henri Louis Frédéric de Saussure.

A new silver Esperanto coin for 100 Steloj was struck in 2018 for the 150th birthday of René de Saussure.

Esperanto 100 Steloj 2018 - Avers
Esperanto 100 Steloj 2018 - Revers


  1. ^ Anderson SR, de Saussure L, eds. (2018). René de Saussure and the theory of word formation (pdf). Berlin: Language Science Press. doi:10.5281/zenodo.1306472. ISBN 978-3-96110-096-5.
  2. ^ Esterhill, Frank, Interlingua Institute: A History. New York: Interlingua Institute, 2000.