Joan Solà i Cortassa (Bell-lloc d'Urgell, Pla d'Urgell, 1940 - Barcelona, 2010). Linguist and Vice-president of the Institut d'Estudis Catalans.
Ph. D in Catalan Philology at the University of Barcelona (1970), and Catalan Language Professor at this university, being named professor emeritus in 2010, in which he is engaged in extensive research activities and teaching. He has also taught numerous courses in other centres abroad and he collaborates regularly in the Media.
Joan Solà has written more than forty books and some 180 articles on syntax, history of the Catalan language, lexis, punctuation, bibliography and other areas of linguistics and sociolinguistics. He has worked on several major publications, for example as co-director (with Jordi Mir) of the Obres completes (Complete Works) of Pompeu Fabra, (from which 5 out of 9 volumes have been already published), as editor of L'obra de Joan Coromines: cicle d'estudi i homenatge (The Work of Joan Coromines: Study Cycle and Homage, 1999), and as director of the collective work Gramàtica del català contemporani(A Contemporary Catalan Grammar), from which the 4th and final edition has been published. He is currenty working on the syntax area of the new IEC grammar rules.
He has always been concerned with the more practical aspects of the language. He has been actively engaged in promoting research and publishing projects, while also working as a linguistic consultant to several institutions, for example, the Consorci per a la Normalització Lingüística (Consortium for Linguistic Normalisation) and the Barcelona City Council and contributing regularly in the press, radio, television and other platforms from which he questions or highlights the use of everyday language.
He has received many tributes in recognition of his academic and cultural contributions and has been awarded several prizes, for example the "Crítica Serra d'Or" (1999), the "Sanchis Guarner" of the Jaume I Foundation (2002), the "Narcís Monturiol" Medal (2003) and the "Creu de Sant Jordi" (Saint George Cross, 2005). He has recently been honored the Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universitat de Lleida and the "Premi d'Honor de les Lletres Catalanes" (2009).
He is a member of the Associació d'Escriptors en Llengua Catalana (Association of Catalan Language Writers – AELC).
Web page: Guillem Molla for AELC.
Photographs: Personal files of Joan Solà / ©Guillem Molla, ©Fundació Pere Coromines, ©Manuel Sifre, ©Jordi Bedmar, ©Jaume Salvadó.
Translation: Julie Wark.