Marcel Cohen

Marcel Samuel Raphaël Cohen (February 6, 1884 – November 5, 1974) was a French linguist. He was an important scholar of Semitic languages and especially of Ethiopian languages. He studied the French language and contributed much to general linguistics.


Marcel Cohen was born in Paris. He studied at the Lycée Condorcet. He attended Antoine Meillet's lectures at the Collège de France and the École pratique des hautes études. In 1905 he registered at the École des langues orientales and graduated in 1909. He Studied Amharic (under Mondon-Vidailhet), French linguistics, Sanskrit, Ge'ez and South Arabian. He wrote his thesis on the Arabic dialect of the Jews of Algiers (Le parler arabe des juifs d'Alger).[1] Between March 1910 and June 1911, he undertook a journey to Ethiopia in which he collected much material on Ethiopian languages.[2] He succeeded Mondon-Vidailhet, who had just died, as chargé de cours d'Abyssin at the École des langues orientales.[3] In 1916 he became Assistant Professor and in 1926 a full Professor. In 1919 he also became professor of Ethiopic at the École pratique des hautes études.[4] He had several students who became distinguished éthiopisants, such as: Wolf Leslau, Stefan Strelcyn and Joseph Tubiana.


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  1. ^ See Strelcyn 1975, p. 615.
  2. ^ An account of this journey was written by him under the title: Rapport sur une mission linguistique en Abyssinie 1910-1911 (Paris 1912).
  3. ^ See Rouaud 2003, p. 766b.
  4. ^ See Strelcyn 1975, p. 616.