Semantics and Methodology


  • Eugeniu Coseriu


cultural sciences; semantics; methodology; terminology; concepts


In this short, but very important text, Eugenio Coseriu underlines the necessity for the representatives of the humanities / cultural sciences to define their specific terms when using them in scientific papers; otherwise, dangerous confusions can happen in the readers’ minds. Moreover, Coseriu – in agreement with the medieval remark according to which verba significant res mediantibus conceptibus – insists on the fact that scientific (and even philosophical) terms do not designate directly the “things” themselves, but through the medium of concepts. Thus, one can observe that many scholars cannot understand each other in their specific field precisely because they refer to different concepts (as signifieds), although they use the same terms (as signifiers). In this regard, the Romanian linguist gives some clarifying examples, such as democracy, realism etc.


Heyl, B. C. (1943). New Bearings in Aesthetics and Art Criticism. A Study in Semantics and Evaluation. New Heaven: Yale University Press.

Coseriu, E. (1986). Introducción a la lingüística, Segunda edición, revisada por el autor y preparada para la impresión por José Polo. Madrid: Editorial Gredos.

Coseriu, E. (1987). „Palabras, cosas y términos”, in In Memoriam Inmaculada Corrales. Estudios lingüísticos. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Universidad de La Laguna, I, pp. 175-185.

Coseriu, E. (1999). Introducere în lingvistică, Traducere de Elena Ardeleanu şi Eugenia Bojoga, Cuvânt înainte de Mircea Borcilă, ediția a II-a. Cluj: Editura Echinocţiu.




How to Cite

Coseriu, E. (2022). Semantics and Methodology. Acta Universitatis Danubius. Communicatio, 16(3 (Special issue). Retrieved from