Jakobson, Roman

Roman Jakobson

Roman Osipovich Jakobson
[Рома́н О́сипович Якобсо́н]


Roman Jakobson was a linguist and literary theorist, who pioneered the application of structural linguistics to literary studies. He was one of the founders of the Prague School of Linguistic Theory in the 1920s and 1930s until he was forced to flee Czechoslovakia at the beginning of World War II. He eventually ended up in New York, where he taught until he was appointed to a Professorship at Harvard in 1949.

Jakobson's influence on such thinkers as on Claude Lévi-Strauss and Roland Barthes made him a key figure in the application of Saussurean structural linguistics to fields such as philosophy, anthropology, and literary theory. You can see an extract from his classic 1956 essay "Two Aspects of Language and Two Types of Disturbances" below.

Select Bibliography:

  1. Remarques sur l'évolution phonologique du russe comparée à celle des autres langues slaves, 1929.

  2. K charakteristike evrazijskogo jazykovogo sojuza, 1930.

  3. Child Language, Aphasia and Phonological Universals, 1941.

  4. On Linguistic Aspects of Translation, 1959.

  5. "Closing Statement: Linguistics and Poetics," in Style in Language (ed. Thomas Sebeok), 1960.

  6. Selected Writings (ed. Stephen Rudy). The Hague, Paris, Mouton (1971–1988):
    • I. Phonological Studies, 1962
    • II. Word and Language, 1971
    • III. The Poetry of Grammar and the Grammar of Poetry, 1980
    • IV. Slavic Epic Studies, 1966
    • V. On Verse, Its Masters and Explorers, 1978
    • VI. Early Slavic Paths and Crossroads, 1985.
    • VI. Early Slavic Paths and Crossroads, 1985.
    • VII. Contributions to Comparative Mythology, 1985.
    • VIII. Major Works (1976—1980), 1988.

  7. Questions de poétique, 1973.

  8. Six Lectures of Sound and Meaning, 1978.

  9. The Framework of Language, 1980.

  10. [with M. Halle] Fundamentals of Language, 1956.

  11. [with L. Waugh] The Sound Shape of Language, 1979.

  12. [with Krystyna Pomorska] Dialogues, 1983.

  13. Verbal Art, Verbal Sign, Verbal Time (ed. Krystyna Pomorska and Stephen Rudy), 1985.

  14. "Shifters and Verbal Categories." On Language. (ed. Linda R. Waugh and Monique Monville-Burston), 1990.

Homepages & Online Information:

The Roman Jakobson Trust

Wikipedia entry

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