The Architect of Modern Catalan
Pompeu Fabra (1868-1948) is renowned as the person who reformed and codified modern Catalan, giving it the condition of a normativised language of culture that proved fit to meet all the challenges of the twentieth century. The context in which he worked was defined by the ideology and momentum of a dynamic Catalan nationalism emerging out of the nineteenth-century cultural revival movement, energies which have continued to affect politics in the Spanish state through to the present. The imposing corpus of Fabra’s writings —newspaper articles, lectures and papers, various grammars and the redaction of the official dictionary of Catalan— covered all aspects of the normativisation and the social normalisation of a rejuvenated national language. His work was, moreover, abreast of the most advanced developments in the newly emerging discipline of modern linguistics.The present volume was conceived in response to expressions of disappointment that the figure and the intellectual contributions of Pompeu Fabra have remained virtually unrecognised internationally. Some rectification of this situation is offered by this first ever translation into English of a representative selection of his writings, accompanied by the first substantial study on him in that language. In this way his work should be made much more accessible to the international community of linguists and of specialists in various branches of the social sciences, for whom Fabra’s exclusive dedication to Catalan retains great relevance.