Worlds apart? Roman Jakobson and Louis Hjelmslev: a tale of a competitive friendship

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The paper contrasts the careers, theories and organizational contributions made by Roman Jakobson and Louis Hjelmslev respectively. Though both are prominent structuralists, they diverged on several important points as to their views of theories and language. Their histories are intertwined because they fought for supremacy in the filed of linguistics and collaborated on the journal Acta Linguistica. Their different views were, however, not fully expressed in the 1930s since an important paper by Hjelmslev was suppressed and remained unpublished until 1973. During Jakobson's escape from Czechoslovakia Hjelmslev was instrumental in bringing Jakobson and his wife to Denmark where he worked for half a year before going on to Norway. We document the various meeting points and divergencies as well as the close friendship which despite their theoretical differences united them.
Keywords: Roman Jakobson, Louis Hjelmslev, history of linguistics, history of structuralism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStructuralism as one - structuralism as many : Studies in Structuralisms
EditorsLorenzo Cigana, Frans Gregersen
Number of pages61
Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
PublisherDet Kongelige Danske Videnskabernes Selskab
Publication date12 Jan 2023
Article number5
ISBN (Print)978-87-7304-447-6
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2023
SeriesScientia Danica. Series H, Humanistica, 8

ID: 334261774