Antoni Rovira i Virgili

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Antoni Rovira i Virgili
4th President of the Catalan Parliament
In office
October 15, 1940 – December 5, 1949
Preceded byJosep Irla
Succeeded byManuel Serra i Moret
Personal details
Born(1882-11-26)November 26, 1882
Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain)
DiedDecember 5, 1949(1949-12-05) (aged 67)
Perpignan (Northern Catalonia, France)
Political partyFederal Nationalist Republican Union
Catalan Action
Republican Action of Catalonia

Antoni Rovira i Virgili (Catalan pronunciation: [ənˈtɔni ruˈβiɾə j βiɾˈʒili]) (November 26, 1882 – December 5, 1949) was a Catalan Spanish politician and journalist who was president of Catalonia's Parliament in exile after the Spanish Civil War. His term of office lasted from 1940 to 1949.

Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona and Reus is named after him.

Rovira i Virgili's interest in the Catalan language and in the figure of Pompeu Fabra

He always showed great interest in the Catalan language , as one of his well-known statements shows:

" For us Catalans, our language is our spirit's blood. Out of all our worldly heritage, we love no other treasure more deeply than our language"

Due to this avid interest in his native language, Rovira i Virgili was fascinated by the great Catalan linguist, Pompeu Fabra and published several articles about him and his work. Rovira i Virgili was fascinated by Fabra`s presence and frequently made reference to Fabra's sparkling eyes.

Linguistically, Rovira i Virgili unconditionally adopted and followed Pompeu Fabra's new orthographic and grammatical proposals for the Catalan language at a time when theseproposals had not even received institutional support as of yet. Rovira i Virgili was not the only follower of Fabra's proposals to do so, but as he was a reputed journalist, , his adhesion to Fabra's teachings constituted a notable and representative example of a growing phenomenon during the last decade of the XXth century: the inconditional, direct, instant and complete adhesion of certain intellectuals and writers of the time to the theories thatn Fabra was sustaining., and this in turh established the path for the modernization of the Catalan language and its growing recognition.

Antoni Rovira i Virgili met Pompeu Fabra for the first time personally around the year 1911, when he was writing for a newspaper called El Poble Català. He was already then a great believer in the linguist´s thesis, but Fabra had not yet become the unarguable referent of the codification of contemporary Catalan.

At that time there was the belief that the said formal codification of the language would be an easily fulfilled objective due to the recent creation in 1907 of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans. There was ,nevertheless, a certain tension among the different existing experts opinions on what the codification should consist of and who should carry out its leadership.

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