The Prague School was originally a group of representatives of functional structuralist linguistics in Czechoslovakia , which was institutionalized in 1926 as the »Prague Linguistic Circle« (Pražský lingvistický kroužek). Nowadays the Prague School is an association that aims to contribute to the knowledge of the language and related sign systems according to functional and structural principles. To this end, it organizes regular meetings with lectures and debates, publishes specialist publications and organizes international events.
In his "classical" period (1926–1948), the Prague structuralists concentrated on the work of Ferdinand de Saussure and the theories of the Russian formalists primarily on phonology (for example Nikolai S. Trubetzkoy , Roman O. Jakobson , Vilém Mathesius , Bohuslav Havránek and Bohumil Trnka ) as well as on the theory of written language (for example Josef Vachek ), later on onomasiology and syntax (Miloš Dokulil, František Daneš) and typology (for example Vladimír Skalička).
Language is understood by Prague linguists as a system of functional formal elements ( phonemes , morphemes , words, phrases, sentences, texts) to create communication . The Prague School thus also belongs to the functionalist theories of language.
Using concepts from Russian linguistics, the Czech members of the Prague Linguist Circle created the theory of language culture as the basis for the standardization of Czech.
Since the 1960s, the “new” Prague school has been developing the functional generative description .
Some of the central theorems of the Prague School were also used by leading Czech literary theorists from the late 1920s, such as B. Jan Mukařovský taken over. This literary theoretical offshoot of the Prague linguists' circle is also known as Prague literary structuralism .
The Prague School of Sinology was also strongly influenced by the Prague School of Linguistics . a. flourished in the 1950s and 1960s ( Jaroslav Průšek , Jarmila Kalousková , Paul Kratochvíl, Oldřich Švarný , Jaromír Vochala, Zdenka Heřmanová and Danuška Heroldová-Šťovíčková).
- Jan M. Broekman : Structuralism. Moscow, Prague, Paris . Dordrecht, Reidel, 1974.
- Philip A. Luelsdorff: The Prague School of Structural and Functional Linguistics. A short introduction . Amsterdam: John Benjamin, 1994.
- Ladislav Matějka (Ed.): Sound, sign and meaning. Quinquagenary of the Prague linguistic circle . Ann Arbor, MI; Univ. of Michigan; 1978
- Marek Nekula: Prague Structuralism. Methodological basis . Heidelberg: Winter, 2003.
- Wolfgang F. Schwarz (ed.) In collaboration with Jiří Holý and Milan Jankovič: Prague School - Continuity and Change. Works on literary aesthetics and poetics of narration . Frankfurt / M .: Vervuert, 1997, ISBN 3-89354-261-2 , ( Leipzig writings on culture, literature, language and translation studies 1)