Source of the picture:

Jan Firbas (1921-2000)

Robert de Beaugrande,

H.G. Widdowson,

Jan Firbas and Herbert Schendl

(Vienna 1992)


  • Prague School of Linguistics

Research Interests

  • Language and context

Notable Ideas

  • Functional Sentence Perspective


Jan Firbas was a Czech linguist, a prominent representative of the Prague School of linguistics.

Jan Firbas was born in Brno on March 25th, 1921. He studied English and Linguistics at Masaryk University where he established a close contact with his teacher, Prof. Josef Vachek.

He remained at Brno University, where he served as Professor of English until his retirement in 1991. His last lecture abroad was delivered at The Ohio State University in Columbus, where he participated in the LP98 (Fourth Linguistics & Phonetics) Conference, in September 1998.

Contribution to Linguistics

He published many articles and other works in his long career, but the one that is best-known in the west and will perhaps be his most enduring scholarly contribution is his 1992 book, Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication, published by Cambridge University Press.

Central Knowledge

  • He developed a theory of Information Structure, called Functional Sentence Perspective.

Main Publications

  • Functional Sentence Perspective in Written and Spoken Communication, Cambridge University Press.

Categories: People