Tomislav Maretić

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Tomislav Maretić
Tomislav Maretic.JPG
Born13 October 1854
Died15 January 1938 (1938-01-16) (aged 83)
Scientific career
FieldsLinguistics, lexicography
InstitutionsUniversity of Zagreb, Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts
Potpis Tomislava Maretića.svg
Tomo Maretić: Gramatika i stilistika hrvatskoga ili srpskoga književnog jezika

Tomislav Maretić (13 October 1854 – 15 January 1938) was a Croatian linguist and lexicographer.[1]

He was born in Virovitica, where he attended primary school and the gymnasium in Varaždin, Požega and Zagreb. After graduating simultaneously Slavistics and Classical Philology at the Philosophical Faculty of the University of Zagreb in a three-year program, he passes his teacher exam for high-school teaching of Ancient Greek and Latin as primary, and Croatian as a secondary course. In 1877 he works as a probationary, and since 1880 as an assistant teacher in Velika gimnazija in Zagreb. He received his Ph.D. in 1884 in Slavic studies and philosophy with the thesis O nekim pojavama kvantitete i akcenta u jeziku hrvatskom ili srpskom ("On some changes of quantity and accent in Croatian or Serbian language"). He further specialized in postdoctoral studies at the neogrammarian centers of Leipzig and Prague.

He was appointed professor extraordinarius for "Slavic philology with particular emphasis on Croatian and Serbian history of language and literature" in 1886 (since 1890 ordinary professor and JAZU member). In 1892 at the electional list of Magyar unionist party he was elected as a representative of Gospić, and since 1900 of Slunj kotar. In the period 1915 - 1918 he served as the president of JAZU, and twice as the head of the philological-historical class of the Academy, first from 1906–1913, then a second time from 1919-1928.

As a gymnasium student he published short literary works (signing as Tomislav). In the 1880s he focused on Croatian orthography and alphabet issues, having published a few papers on it (the study "Historija hrvatskoga pravopisa latinskijem slovima") in which he was laying foundations for the acceptance of phonologically-based orthography. At the end of the 19th century he published two grammars: the "academic" ("Gramatika i stilistika hrvatskoga ili srpskoga književnog jezika") and gymnasium ("Gramatika hrvatskoga jezika za niže razrede srednjih škola", both in 1899) version, in which he completely directed grammatical norm of the Croatian literary language towards Neoštokavian. Those two grammars represent the final confrontation with the competing conception of standard language advocated by Zagreb philological school. Beside Ivan Broz, he was among the first Shtokavian purists.

In 1907 he became editor of the massive dictionary compiled by the Academy, and until his death (from the lexeme maslo up to the lexeme pršutina) he has edited approximately 5 500 pages which makes him one of the most prolific Croatian lexicographers. He studied the language of Slavonian and Dalmatian writers and folk epics. He translated works from Polish, Latin and Ancient Greek, and some of the most well-known Croatian translations of the world's literature classics (Mickiewicz, Ovid, Virgil, Homer) are his work. In order to translate the classics he formed accentual hexameter which Petar Skok called "Maretić's life's work". By his beliefs Maretić is a Croatian Vukovian, the advocate of the Croatian and Serbian linguistic unity and the usage of phonological orthography, idealizer of the "pure people's language" and of exclusively (Neo-)Štokavian basis of the Serbo-Croatian standard language.

He died in Zagreb.


  • Lekcionarij Bernarda Spljećanina, JAZU, 208 pp., Zagreb, 1885
  • Nov prilog za istoriju akcentuacije hrvatske ili srpske, JAZU, 225 pp., Zagreb, 1885
  • O narodnim imenima i prezimenima u Hrvata i Srba, JAZU, 150 pp., Zagreb, 1886
  • Veznici u slovenskijem jezicima, JAZU, 299 pp., Zagreb, 1887
  • Slaveni u davnini, Matica hrvatska, 256 pp., Zagreb, 1889
  • Kosovski junaci i događaji u narodnoj epici, JAZU, 115 pp., Zagreb, 1889
  • Istorija hrvatskoga pravopisa latinskijem slovima, JAZU, 406 pp., Zagreb, 1889
  • Slavenski nominalni akcenat s obzirom na litavski, grčki i staroindijski, JAZU, 64 pp., Zagreb,1890
  • Život i književni rad Franje Miklošića, JAZU, 113 pp., Zagreb, 1892
  • Gramatika hrvatskoga jezika za niže razrede srednjih škola, Kugli, 270 pp., Zagreb, 1899
  • Gramatika i stilistika hrvatskoga ili srpskoga književnog jezika, Kugli, 700 pp., Zagreb, 1899
  • I. S. Turgenjev u hrvatskim i srpskim prijevodima, JAZU, 113 pp., Zagreb, 1904
  • Rječnik hrvatskoga ili srpskoga jezika: edited in multiple occasions more than 5 300 pages
  • Metrika narodnih naših pjesama, JAZU, 200 pp., Zagreb, 1907
  • Naša narodna epika, JAZU, 263 pp., Zagreb, 1909
  • Jezik slavonskijeh pisaca, JAZU, 88 pp., 1910
  • Jezik dalmatinskijeh pisaca XVIII. vijeka, JAZU, 92 pp., Zagreb, 1916
  • Hrvatski ili srpski «jezični savjetnik», Jugoslavenska njiva, 509 pp., Zagreb, 1923
  • Metrika muslimanske narodne epike, JAZU, 138 pp., Zagreb, 1936


  1. ^ "Maretić, Tomislav (Tomo)", Croatian Encyclopedia (in Croatian), Leksikografski zavod Miroslav Krleža, 1999–2009, retrieved January 19, 2014
Academic offices
Preceded by
Tadija Smičiklas
Chairman of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts
Succeeded by
Vladimir Mažuranić