The Prague Circle

Andrew Heartquist Period 6 Pierce

Prague Linguistic Circle (Prague School)

  • Prague was considered to be the "isle of democracy and freedom in Central Europe"
  • The Prague Circle was a loosely knit group of German-Jewish literary critics and linguists.
  • The first meeting of the Prague Circle was on October 6, 1926, when a young German scholar, Dr. Henrik Becker, gave a lecture.
  • Started in Prague, which was in Czechoslovakia, a country that was formed after World War I in 1918.
  • They were brought together by a common desire for a new approach to linguistics.
  • The Prague Circle was a very influential linguistic group until World War II.

Important Members of the Prague Linguistic Circle

  • Vilém Mathesius - The first president of the Prague Circle
  • Franz Kafka - German writer considered today to be the most important member of the Prague Circle
  • René Wellek - Early member of the Circle helped spread their way of linguistics to America
  • Roman Osipovich Jakobson - Russian thinker who helped form the Moscow Linguistic Circle before moving to Prague.
  • Nikolay Sergeyevich Trubetskoy - Russian linguist, son of a prince/philosopher.
  • Jan Mukařovský - Professor at Charles University of Prague

Historical Significance

  • The Prague Circle influenced a new way of linguistics across the globe.
  • Played a large part in the culture of Prague.
  • Their approach to linguistics was a way of studying the function of speech sounds that could be applied to a language that exists or a language as it changes.

Works Cited

"Prague Linguistic Circle." - New World Encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <>.

"Prague Linguistics - Linguistique De Prague." About Prague Linguistic Circle. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <>.

"Short History of the Prague Linguist Circle."Http:// N.p., n.d. Web. Sept.-Oct. 2012.

"Kalendárium." Radio Praha. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2012. <>.