An answer given by Roman Jakobson in 1976 to a question by an interviewer is now inscribed as an epitaph, in Russian, on his tombstone in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The question asked for a self-characterization: “You speak and write in so many languages. You have worked, taught and lived in so many countries. Who are you?” Jakobson's answer was laconic: “A Russian philologist. Period.”

In Roman Jakobson, “the man and his work are one” (Gray VII). One of the greatest scholars of the twentieth century, Jakobson was a man of immense intellectual power, audacity of thought, exceptional originality and creative breadth. His work in Slavic philology, poetics, semiotics, and, above all, linguistics, defined the …

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Reznik, Vladislava. "Roman Jakobson". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 April 2008
[, accessed 07 July 2015.]

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