Roman Jakobson

Manfred Bierwisch
Table of contents

Jakobson was one of the dominant figures representing the theory of language in the 20th century. Together with Trubetzkoy, he developed a new orientation in dealing with the problems of natural language, especially its sound structure, essentially by enriching the conceptual framework of phonology. Jakobson’s particular emphasis in this endeavour concerned the nature of distinctive features as the minimal elements of phonological structure. Extending the structuralist approach to problems of the linguistic content, Jakobson made ground-breaking contributions to morphology as the framework of grammatical structure, notably with regard to the theory of Case, and by rethinking the traditional verbal categories. A further breakthrough resulted from his application of basic linguistic principles to the analysis of data from aphasia. Linguistic insights were also the guideline in his fascinating analyses of poetry, taking the poetic function of language as one of its integrated aspects. Arguing against Saussure’s principle of arbitrariness of the sound-meaning relation of language, Jakobson finally came very close to establishing the combinatorial principle as the essence of language.

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[SW = Selected Writings of Roman Jakobson, Volumes I–III – see below]

Bühler, Karl
1934Sprachtheorie. Jena: Gustav FischerGoogle Scholar
Halle, Morris and Alec Marantz
1993 “Distributed morphology and the pieces of Inflection.” In The View from Building 20. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Jakobson, Roman
1932“Zur Struktur des russischen Verbums.“ In Charisteria Gulielmo Mathesio quinquagenario. Reprinted in SW II.Google Scholar
1936 “Beitrag zur allgemeinen Kasuslehre.“ TCLP VI. Reprinted in SW II.Google Scholar
1941 “Kindersprache, Aphasie und allgemeine Lautgesetze.“ Reprinted in SW I.
1948 “Russian conjugation.” Word 4. Reprinted in SW II.DOI logoGoogle Scholar
1957 “Shifters, verbal categories, and the Russian verb.” Reprinted in SW II.
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1962Selected Writings, Volume I. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
1963 “Toward a linguistic classification of aphasic impairments.” In Ciba Foundation Symposium on Disorders of Language , London. Reprinted in SW II.
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1971Selected Writings, Volume II. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
1981Selected Writings, Volume III. The Hague: Mouton.Google Scholar
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1952Preliminaries to Speech Analysis. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
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1962Vysšie korkovye funcii čeloveka. Moscow: University Publishing House.Google Scholar
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