Roman Jakobson's writings range over the entire field of general linguistics, as well as embracing Slavic linguistics and literature theory. Jakobson has had a tremendous influence on the development of linguistic theory. He was a founder of and prime mover in the Prague
Linguistic Circle. On the basis of the new structuralist concepts, he set forth bold theories of general linguistics and illustrated them with brilliant demonstrations based on Slavic and other languages. Taking a leading role in the elucidation of the structural linguistic field of phonology, Jakobson used these insights to develop new trends in historical phonology. Altogether, his linguistics appears to incorporate the technical design of modern theoretical concepts, but at the same time transcends purely formal modeling through its interdisciplinary focus upon historical and poetic matters. Jakobson was enormously successful in presenting innovative theoretical insights and relating them to possible practical applications. Specifically, his work on the general processes of language acquisition and loss, on child language and aphasia, opened up entirely new methods for linguists and doctors alike.
The series Selected Writings represents the whole range of Roman
Jakobson's fields of research.