The present article is devoted to the legacy of the Belgian linguist Eric Buyssens (1900–2000), whose works are not known widely enough in Russia. The infl uence of F. de Saussure’s views on the development of E. Buyssens’ linguistic theory is examined together with the latter’s major components: functional nature of language, subject matter and concepts of communicative semiology, sign and its structure, semiology as a methodological base for language description, the development of the Saussurean dichotomy between language (langue) and speech (parole), stress on the study of discourse as a new fi eld of research, articulation of language, investigation of children’s speech. Buyssens’s linguistic conception is examined against the background of and in comparison with other trends in linguistics of his time as well as from the viewpoint of contemporary linguistics. The contribution of the Belgian scholar to general linguistics is assessed. Е. Buyssens went down in the history of linguistics as a representative of functionalist trends and the founder of communicative semiology and theory of discourse.