Johannes Aavik

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Johannes Aavik.

Si Johannes Aavik (8 Disyembre [Lumang Estilo 26 Nobyembre] 1880 sa Randvere, Laimjala Parish, Saare County – 18 Marso1973 sa Stockholm) ay isang pilologong Estonianat Fennophile na may mahalagang papel sa modernisasyon at pagdevelop ng wikang Estonian.[1]

Education and career[baguhin | baguhin ang batayan]

Nag-aral si Aavik ng kasaysayan sa Unibersidad ng Tartu at sa Unibersidad ng Nezin noong 1905. Naging miyembro siya ng Young Estonia movement at nagtamo ng Doktorado sa wikang Romanse sa Unibersidad ng Helsinki noong 1910. Nagturo si Aavik ng Estonian and French sa Unibersidad ng Tartu noong 1926 hanggang 1933. Noong 1934 itinalaga siya ng Estonian Ministry of Education bilang Punong Inspektor ng Paaralang Sekundarya, isang posisyong pinagsilbihan niya hanggang 1940. [2] Tumakas siya sa Soviet occupation noong 1944 at nanirahan sa Stockholm hanggang sa mamatay.

Estonian language development[baguhin | baguhin ang batayan]

Johannes Aavik found that Estonian, which had for centuries been the language of peasants, needed innovation, as its sphere of usage widened rapidly with the emergence of a modern nation. There was a need for standardization of grammar and orthography as well as new technical terminology. Aavik added that the language also needed to be versatile and euphonic. In 1912 he started writing articles to literary journals, making propositions how to develop Estonian language. He suggested intensive borrowing from Finnish; many of his suggestions were quickly widely accepted and have become part of standard Estonian vocabulary. From 1914 he started to artificially create well sounding new word stems to replace awkward compound words. Thus, he proposed relv (’weapon’) instead of sõjariist (literally ’war tool’), roim (’crime’) instead of kuritöö (’evil deed’) and veenma (’convince’) instead of uskuma panema (’make believe’). He generally tried to avoid the sounds t and s and preferred shorter words to longer ones. He also favoured o in successive syllables to u, as is common in the South Estonian dialects.

Aavik tried to modernize even the grammar. He advocated the usage of i-plural instead of t(d)-plural (keelis pro keeltes) and the i-superlative instead of the ordinary superlative (suurim pro kõige suurem), as well as –nd instead of –nud in active past participle. He proposed inflexional affixes to the ma-infinitive, but only some of them entered into popular usage. He also tried to introduce a future form of verbs and a female personal pronoun, but these got little positive response.

Aavik published numerous essays and translations to propagate his ideas; he had vocal supporters as well as opponents. In 1919, he published a dictionary of 2000 novelty words. His principles (utility, aesthetics and native quality) were summarized in "Keeleuuenduse äärmised võimalused" (Extreme Perspectives of Language Innovation; Tartu, 1924).

Language innovation slowly died away after the 1927 act that made it compulsory for schools to teach standard Estonian as put down in Estonian Orthographic Dictionary (1925, chief editor J. V. Veski) and Estonian Grammar (by Elmar Muuk, 1927). However, some words proposed by Aavik and fallen into oblivion have been picked up and re-introduced by more recent literati.

An essay on linguistic innovation in Estonian by Paul Saagpakk can be found in his Estonian-English Dictionary.

References[baguhin | baguhin ang batayan]

  1. Toivo Miljan, Historical Dictionary of Estonia, Scarecrow Press 2004
  2. The International Who's Who 1943-44. 8th edition. George Allen & Unwin, London, 1943, p. 1.

Further reading[baguhin | baguhin ang batayan]