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

Prague, Jednota Ceskoslovenskych Matematiku a Fysiku, 1929. 8vo. Uncut and unopened in the original printed wrappers. A bit of minor chipping and bending to extremities. A very nice copy. 118, (2, -blank) pp.

The rare first edition of one of the most important early works by the pioneer of the structural analysis of language and one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century, with presentation-inscription for one of the leading French linguists of the period: "A Mr J. Vendryes, homage respectueux del'auteur" on the title-page. The work constitutes the starting point of a new approach in linguistics and phonology.

The work was published as No. 2 of the foundational "Travaux du Cercle Linguistique de Prague", the publication from the seminal Prague School of Linguistics, of which Jakobsen was a founder.

The Prague School held its first international conference, of Slavic linguists, in 1929. Here Jakobson presented his research on the phonological evolution of Russian and other Slavic languages, which had led him to conclude that there was a correlation between the description of sound systems and the explanation of their evolution. "He identified the phoneme as the minimal unit of language capable of discriminating word meanings and viewed the phoneme as an indivisible atom. These advances constituted the starting point of a new approach in linguistics and phonology, according to which each language is distinguished from all others by its phonemic system, that is, by the inclusion or omission of particular phonemes available to human speech." (American National Biography).
The work is fundamental for Jakobson's development of a universal structural-functional theory of phonology, which was the first successful theory of its kind in accordance with Saussurean hypotheses. The concept of the phoneme that Jakobson had reached became a fundamental element of linguistic theory and came to greatly affect scientific descriptions and analyses of language.

Roman Osipovich Jakobson (1896 - 1982) was a famous Russian linguist and literary critic, who became one of the most influential linguists of the 20th century. He is probably most famous as the pioneer of structural analysis of language and as the co-founder of structuralism.

Jakobson was born into a Russian Jewish family. Early on, he showed a great interest in the theory of language, and already as a student he became a leading figure of the Moscow Linguistic Circle. He was very much influenced by Husserl's phenomenology and the work of Saussure, and he developed a deep interest in the question of how language, the human speech, functions and is possible.

Due to political troubles in Russia, in 1920 Jakobsen moved to Prague, where he was to become even more influential. Here, in 1926, he co-founded the Prague School of linguistic theory, which, together with the Copenhagen School, was the most influential school of linguistics of its time and of decades to come. It is here that Jakobson develops his seminal ideas of phonology as well as the term structuralism and the contents of it. Among his most important works from this period is his present work in which he compares the phonological evolution of the Russian language to that of other Slavic languages, a foundational work for the development of his theories on the structure and function of language.

When the Second World War broke out, Jakobson moved to Scandinavia, where he met the Copenhagen School of linguistics and its main figure, Louis Hjelmslev. Later he fled to America, where he met Claude Lévi-Strauss, Quine, Bloomfeld and many other important thinkers within the field of language theory.

Jakobson's structuralist theories of language differentiate much from other parts of the structuralist movement in that he constantly bases them on knowledge from other sciences, from mathematics, philosophy, psychology etc., and as such, Jakobson's theories are among the most influential and wide-ranging in the history of linguistics, as they come to also affect and profoundly influence several other scientific fields.

Joseph Vendryes (1875-1960) was a much respected and quite influential French linguist specialized in Celtic languages. He was involved with the standardization and presentation of the universal language Interlingua.

Order-nr.: 42791

DKK 16.000,00