(1896 – 1982) A Russian linguist and literary theorist who was a pioneer of structural linguistics. Working with Nikolai Trubetzkoy, Jakobson developed techniques that are still used to analyze language sound systems, essentially founding the modern study of phonology. He also formulated the concepts of linguistic typology and linguistic universals.
1. Through his influence on Claude Lévi-Strauss, Roland Barthes, and others, Jakobson was a key figure in spreading structuralism to other disciplines, such as anthropology and literary theory.