BENVENISTE, Émile

BENVENISTE, Émile. Aleppo, Syria 25.2. or 27.4.1902 — Paris 3.10.1976. French Iranian scholar and Linguist. Professor in Paris. Son of Professor Mathieu B., of a well known Sephardim family of Turkey (originally of Spain), and Marie Marcenson. Educated privately and at Faculté des lettres in Paris under Meillet. Agrégé (teacher’s degree) 1922, Ph.D. 1935. From 1927 Meillet’s successor at the IV section of É.P.H.É., from 1937 also at Collège de France (for Grammaire comparée). Had to inter­rupt his teaching during the war, in 1940-44. In 1969 he became seriously ill, had soon to retire, and nearly to give up his research. Finally retired in 1972 from Collège de France and É.P.H.É. In 1960 member of the A.I.B.L. Unmarried.

EB was a famous Iranian scholar. He began his career with studies on Sogdian (con­tinued Gauthiot’s work) and Old Persian, later also Avestan and even Modern Iranian (especially Ossetic). A Linguist, but also interested in the cultural context and in religion. Also interested in Hittite, Greek and Latin, general linguistics, Armenian, and French.

Publications: diss. Origines de la formation des noms en indo-européen. 224 p. P. 1935, Russian transl. M. 1955; Noms d’agent et noms d’action en indo-européen. 175 p. P. 1948; Hittite et indo-européen. 141 p. P. 1962.

Essai de grammaire sogdienne. II. Morphologie, syntaxe et glossaire. 240 p. P. 1929 (Vol. I. by Gauthiot), Codices sogdiani. 13 p. 215 pl. Monum. Linguarum Asiae Majoris 3. Copenhagen 1940 (facs.); Textes sogdiens. Éd., trad. et com­mentés. 280 p. P. 1940, Vessantara Jātaka et Sūtra des Causes et Effets, éd. & trad. 137 p. P. 1946; with P. Demiéville: “Notes sur le fragment sogdien du Buddhadhyānasamādhisāgarasūtra”, JA 223, 1933, 193-248.

The Persian Religion according to the Greek Texts. Transl. 119 p. P. 1929; Les mages dans l’Ancien Iran. 31 p. P. 1938; “Le témoignage de Théodore bar Kōnya sur le zoroastrisme”, MO 26, 1932-33, 170-215.

– “Le Mémorial de Zarēr. Poème pehlevi mazdéen”, JA 220, 1932, 245-293; “Un apocalypse pehlevie: le Šāmāsp-Nāmak”, RHR 106, 1932, 237-180.

with L. Renou: Vrtra et Vrθragna, étude de mythologie indo-iranienne. 5+207 p. Cahiers de la Soc. as. 3. P. 1934.

Les infinitifs avestiques. 117 p. P. 1935; Titres et noms propres en iranien ancien. P. 1966; “Termes et noms achéménides en araméen”, JA 225, 1934, 127-193.

Études sur la langue ossète. 165 p. P. 1959, Russian transl. M. 1965; “Études sur la phonétique et l’étymologie de l’osséte”, BSL 52, 1956, 6-59.

c. 300 articles and reviews in BSL, MSL, JA, RÉtArch, RHittAs, etc. Collected volumes: Problèmes de linguistique générale. 1966, English 1971, Spanish 1971, Italian 1971, Russian 1974; id. lib. tome II. 1974.

ed. “Lettres de Ferdinand de Saussure à Antoine Meillet”, Cahiers Ferdinand de Saussure 21, 1964, 91-130.

Sources: G. Lazard, JA 265, 1977, 1-7; bibliography by Moh. Djafar Moinfar in Mélanges Em. Benveniste. 1975, ix-liii.; *C. Normand, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 94f.; family in Enc. Iudaica; *E. Benveniste aujourd’hui. Actes du Colloque international du C.N.R.S. “L’Œuvre d’Emile Benveniste, bilan et perspectives”. 1-2. 209+280 p. Tours 1983-84; *G. Redard, Emile Benveniste (1902–1976). 1981; Wikipedia.

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