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Roman Jakobson

Roman Jakobson (1896-1982), a famous linguist originally from Russia, was a founder of the "Prague school[?]" of linguistic theory, whose other major figure was Nikolai Trubetzkoi[?].

Jakobson was one of the most influential intellectuals of the 20th century, with his contributions to linguistics, structuralist anthropology[?] (he was an inspiration to Claude Levi-Strauss), literary theory and semiotics, among others.

Jakobson's three major ideas in linguistics play a major role in the field to this day: linguistic typology, markedness[?] and linguistic universals[?]. The three concepts are tightly intertwined: typology is the classification of languages in terms of shared grammatical features (as opposed to shared origin), markedness is (very roughly) a study of how certain forms of grammatical organization are more "natural" than others, and linguistic universals is the study of the general features of languages in the world.

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