Bohuslav Havránek

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Bohuslav Havránek (January 30, 1893, Prague – March 2, 1978, Prague) was a Czech linguist and member of the Prague Linguistic Circle.


After his graduation, he worked as a secondary school teacher, before completing his studies in 1928, with his work 'The Genera Verbi in the Slavic languages' ('Genera verbi v slovanských jazycích' in Czech).

In 1930 he became a professor at Masaryk University in Brno, and taught there until the closing of Czech universities by the German occupation of 1939. Then, beginning in 1945, he was professor at the Charles University in Prague, later becoming head of the Department for the Czech Language, then Phonetics, then General Linguistics, and finally Dean of the Faculty of Arts. From 1953 to 1961 he was also rector of the Academy of Russian Language and Literature.

In 1926, Havránek helped found the Prague Linguistic Circle and was soon, alongside Vilém Mathesius, one of Czech linguistics' most important representatives. In 1935, he founded the linguistic journal 'Slovo a slovesnost'. In 1952, he became academician and first director of the Institute for Czech Language, and of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, remaining so until 1965.

Havránek was a leading proponent of European structuralism, but also worked in sociolinguistics and linguistic history. His contribution to the theory of the standard languages is today recognized as especially important.

External links[edit]

External image
Bohuslav Havránek’s image
  • [1] —Bohuslav Havránek on the German National Library Website (in German)