Collected Works of Jan Firbas
Jan Firbas (1921–2000), a follower of the linguistic tradition of the Prague School, became internationally renowned for his theory of Functional Sentence Perspective. Although the bibliography of his works comprises more than 150 items, those items – papers and reviews written mostly in English, though occasionally in Czech, German, and Russian – are scattered across numerous journals and conference proceedings published throughout the world. Although his famous theory was outlined in his monograph Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication (Cambridge University Press, 1992), the detailed analyses compiled here have remained largely inaccessible to the international linguistic community.
The publication by Masaryk University Press of the Collected Works of Jan Firbas, containing the author’s original papers and reviews along with introductions, annotations, translations into English of all passages in other languages, and other scholarly apparatuses, will provide access to the entirety of the works of this outstanding scholar.
The first volume, which comprises the papers written between 1951 and 1967, presents Jan Firbas’s earliest works. The second volume presents the texts from 1968 till 1978.
The name of the late Professor Jan Firbas, DrSc., is inseparably connected with the English Department of Masaryk University in Brno, and with the theory of functional sentence perspective. To both he devoted nearly all his professional life. However, the beginnings of his academic career were far from clear-cut. Czech, English and general linguistics may indeed be considered fortunate that after the war he gave up his original intention to study medicine and decided to study English and philosophy instead. Henceforth, his professional career was straight forward. After graduation he joined the English Department of Masaryk University, became an assistant to the late Professor Josef Vachek, and continued to teach there and work on his scholarly pursuits for over fifty years till his death in May 2000. He educated several generations of young scholars many of whom follow in his footsteps, extending his theory to cover areas suggested in or derivable from the canonical framework of the concepts of their teacher.
A telling proof of the high esteem in which Jan Firbas is generally held, and of a deeply felt indebtedness for his contribution to Czech linguistics and linguistics in general, is the present publication of his complete works, initiated by his oldest and closest associate, Professor Aleš Svoboda, who conceived and organized the entire project.
Orders should be directed to:
Masaryk University Press
602 00 Brno