Jakobson, Roman (1896-1982)

Linda R. Waugh

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Roman Jakobson was one of the major linguists, literary theorists, and semioticians of the twentieth century, and one of its most creative minds. He contributed to linguistics major fundamental concepts and showed the importance for linguistics of such diverse issues as child language acquisition, poetry, the act of communication, and typology and universals. After a brief overview of Jakobson's life, major themes of his work are discussed in detail: structural phonology, child language acquisition, and aphasia; distinctive features and functional view of sound; invariance and relational structure; functions of language; metaphor/metonymy (similarity/contiguity); grammar; and Jakobson's legacy in linguistics and other fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • (Child) language acquisition
  • (Distinctive) features
  • Functionalism
  • Functions of language
  • Iconicity
  • Invariance/variation
  • Markedness
  • Meaning (grammatical and lexical)
  • Phonology
  • Poetry/poetics
  • Semiotics
  • Similarity/contiguity
  • Speech event
  • Structuralism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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