Antoni M. Alcover
1862 - 1932
Antoni M. Alcover (Manacor, 1862 - Palma, 1932) was a priest, folklorist, linguist and historian. Vicar-general and Canon of the Mallorca cathedral, his strong, intransigent character suffuses his work. He was notable for his fiery traditionalist polemics both in his articles in the press in general and in the Catholic daily he promoted, L'Aurora.
However, his passionate interest in the popular literature and language of his country also had him collecting the stories and legends which, under the pseudonym of Jordi d’es Racó, have been published in the 24 volumes of the Rondaies mallorquines (Folktales of Mallorca) collection. In his work Lletra de convit (Letter of Invitation, 1900) he proposes his most far-reaching project in the form of a great dictionary of the Catalan language. The Diccionari Català-Valencià-Balear (Catalan-Valencian-Balearic Dictionary), one of the pivotal works of the Catalan language, first appeared in the form of instalments after 1926. Participating in this project was Francesc de Borja Moll, who would see the project through to the end. Prior to this, Alcover had edited a Bolletí del Diccionari de la Llengua Catalana (Bulletin of the Dictionary of the Catalan Language, 1901) and had been one of the prime movers of the First International Congress of the Catalan Language in 1906. His works on dialectology and toponymy have also been collected in the fieldwork notebooks of his "philological excursions" around the Catalan-speaking territories. In 1911 he was nominated president of the Philological Section of the Institute of Catalan Studies, a post he was to leave in 1918 over disagreements with Pompeu Fabra and other members of the Section.
He was president of Comissió Editora Lul·liana (Llullian Publishing Committee) and wrote historical studies on some prominent figures, for example Vida abreujada de Santa Catalina Tomassa (A Brief Life of Saint Catalina Tomassa, 1931) as well as episodes from the history of Mallorca, Los mozárabes baleares (The Mozarabs of the Balearic Islands, 1922).
Web page: Francesc Viñas for AELC (Association of Catalan Language Writers).