Anton Bernolák

Anton Bernolák (born 3 October 1762 in Slanica, died 15 January 1813 in Nové Zámky) was a Catholic priest and founder of standard Slovak. He studied in Pressburg (present-day Bratislava), Trnava and Vienna, and in 1787 was consecrated as a priest. Thereafter he was employed firstly as the secretary in the archbishop's office in Trnava and then as a priest in Nové Zámky, where he lived until his death. From the outset of his studies Bernolák was interested in the Slavic languages. As 25 year-old theologian he published two Latin treatises, Dissertatio-critica de literis Slavorum, wherein he expressed the principle of literary Slovak, and Linguae Slavonicae per regnum Hungariae usitage compendiosa simul et facilis Orthographia, wherein he indicated what the language and its grammar should be. In 1790 this work was published under the name Gramatica Slavica. In it he declared the principle of phonetic spelling. However the work introduced a number of new characters, and it quickly became clear that the new language would not survive for a long time. In 1792 he established Tovaryšstvo literného umeňá in Trnava, Nitra, Rovná, Banská Bystrica and Solivar. In Trnava this organisation launched the publishing activity of Tovaryšstva (Journeymanships) and several years later the Bernolák Slovak language was being used by the majority of the Slovak Catholic priesthood. During his whole life Bernolak collected materials for a dictionary, which was published after his death by Juraj Palkovič entitled Slovár slovenskí, česko-latinsko-nemecko-uherskí (1825-1827 6 volumes). Source: Bujňák, P, Slovenský náučný slovník, Litevna, Bratislava - Praha 1932.