Sunday, November 16, 2014

Antoni Maria Badia i Margarit

Doctor Badia i Margarit
Antoni Maria Badia i Margarit (Barcelona, 1920-2014) was a linguist. 

In 1943 he graduated in Romance Philology at the University of Barcelona and, in 1945, he obtained a PhD from the Arts Faculty at the Ciudad Universitaria (University City) of Madrid, after which he was appointed Professor of Spanish Historical Grammar at the University of Barcelona in 1948. This Chair came under the auspices of the Chair of Catalan Historical Grammar in 1977. In 1951 he published Gramática histórica catalana(Catalan Historical Grammar), which eventually appeared in Catalan in 1981. He was a visiting scholar at the universities of Munich (1959-1960), Georgetown (1961-1962) and Wisconsin (1967-1968). 
In 1969 he published the study La Llengua dels barcelonins (The Language of the People of Barcelona), which was followed by the survey La llengua catalana ahir i avui (Catalan Language Yesterday and Today, 1973). In 1974 he went to Paris to teach as an associate professor at the Sorbonne in the academic years 1974-1975 and 1975-1976. In 1977 Antoni Maria Badia i Margarit was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Barcelona, a position he occupied until 1986 when he retired from the university where he had devoted a great part of his efforts and many years of his life. 
Fruit of his experience at the university is the book Llavor de futur. Vuit anys al rectorat de la Universitat de Barcelona (Seed of the Future: Eight Years in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of Barcelona, 1989). 

His body of work as a whole is extensive and of great significance and includes the outstanding titles Ciència i passió dins la cultura catalana (Science and Passion in Catalan Culture, 1977), La formació de la llengua catalana: assaig d'interpretació històrica (The Shaping of the Catalan Language: An Essay in Historical Interpretation, 1981), Llengua i societat: etapes de la normalització (Language and Society: Stages of Standardisation, 1981) and Llengua i poder. Textos de sociolingüística catalana(Language and Power: Texts in Catalan Sociolinguistics, 1986). He also wrote Sons i fonemes de la llengua catalana (Sounds and Phonemes of the Catalan Language, 1988), La llengua catalana: un procés multisecular (The Catalan Language: A Centuries-Long Process, 1988), Gramàtica de la llengua catalana: descriptiva, normativa, diatòpica, diastràtica (A Grammar of the Catalan Language: Descriptive, Normative, Diatopic and Diastratic, 1994), Les Regles de esquivar vocables i la «qüestió de la llengua» (Rules for Vocables and the "Language Question", 1999), and Apologia i vindicació de la llengua catalana (An Apologia for and Vindication of the Catalan Language, 2004). 

He was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by, inter alia, the universities of Salzburg (1972), Toulouse II - Le Mirail (1978) and the Sorbonne (1986). He was named Honorary Vice-Chancellor of the University of Barcelona in 1986 and has also been awarded the prestigious Creu de Sant Jordi (St George Cross) by the Generalitat (Government) of Catalonia (1986), and the Medal for Scientific Merit by the Barcelona City Council (1999). In 2003 he received the Catalan Letters Award of Honour and in 2012, the Gold Medal of the Generalitat of Catalonia.

Web page: Toni Terrades for AELC. 
Documentation: Toni Terrades and Josep Martínez. 
Photographs: © Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya - Biblioteca Badia-Cardús. 
Translation by Julie Wark. 

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