Babić Stjepan, F.C.A.

Deceased Members V. Department of Philological Sciences
Babić Stjepan


  • November 29, 1925, in Oriovac


  • August 27, 2021, in Zagreb


Babić Stjepan, F.C.A.

Deceased Members V. Department of Philological Sciences

Academic titles:

  • Fellow of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts
  • Doctor of Science


  • full professor, retired – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb

Membership in Academy:

  • full member – Department of Philological Sciences (07/24/1991 – 8/27/2021)
  • extraordinary member – Department of Philological Sciences (03/11/1986 – 07/24/1991)
  • associate member – Department of Philological Sciences (06/07/1977 – 03/11/1986)

Stjepan Babić, F.C.A., one of the most important Croatian linguists, was born on November 29, 1925, in Oriovac. He finished elementary school in Oriovac, and attended gymnasium in Slavonski Brod, Osijek and Zagreb, where he graduated in 1947. Having been a clerk for two years, in 1949 he enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb VIII. group of subjects: Folk Language and Literature (A), Russian Language and Literature (B), German Language (C). In 1955 he graduated and immediately became an assistant at the same faculty, at the Department of Croatian Language and Literature. He defended his dissertation Sufiksal formation of adjectives in contemporary Croatian or Serbian literary language in 1962 at the same faculty and in 1963 he became an assistant professor, in 1970 an associate professor, and in 1975 a full professor, which he remained until his retirement in 1991.

Since 1977 he has been an associate member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, since 1986 an associate, and since 1991 a full member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the Department of Philological Sciences.

He was the editor of the journal Jezik from 1963, and from 1970 to 2005 editor-in-chief, member of the Main Board of Matica hrvatska (from 1989 to 1992 and vice-president) and member of the Croatian Philological Society and its Presidency. From 1993 to 1997 he was a representative of the County House of the Parliament of the Republic of Croatia elected in Brod-Posavina County. Participated in many scientific conferences and Slavic congresses at home and abroad.

Awarded with the highest scientific and state awards: Bartol Kašić award for significant scientific activity in the field of social sciences and humanities in the field of study of the Croatian literary language (1991), Order of Croatian Morning Star with the figure of Ruđer Bošković for special merits in science (1995), Memorial of the Homeland War for another active way (1995), Memorial of Homeland Gratitude for honorable and exemplary service for a period of five years (1995),   The Order of Ante Starčević (1996) and the State Lifetime Achievement Award (2004).

Stjepan Babić dealt primarily with the issues of contemporary Croatian literary language, especially word formation. His complete bibliography includes more than a thousand bibliographic units.

His book The Formation of Words in the Croatian Literary Language (Zagreb, 1986), published by the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts as the 2nd volume of The Outline for Grammar of the Croatian Literary Language, is the basic Croatian derivative manual, and is considered in recent times the most successful synthesis from the formation in Slavic languages. Together with S. Pavešić and S. Težak, he covered morphology in volume 1 of the same Outline (1991). From 1963 to 1995, he published 5 more books on Croatian linguistics. In collaboration with S. Težak, he published under various titles in 12 editions (one in London) an overview of Croatian grammar (1966–96).

At the time of the Croatian Spring of 1971, together with Milan Moguš, F.C.A., and Božidar Finka, F.C.A. he made the Croatian Orthography, which was destroyed for political reasons after printing and was reprinted in London in 1972, which is why it made history under the name Londoner. In its entirety, The Croatian Orthography was first printed only in 1990, after which it experienced several editions.

For several decades he collected political jokes that he published in 1995 in the book Croatian Political Jokes. He has published hundreds of articles and treatises in Croatian and Slavic journals and proceedings, both domestic and foreign, mainly on issues of contemporary Croatian language and spelling, but also from linguistic history. He also wrote about Croatian literature and edited editions of older Slavonian writers.

As a writer of textbooks and manuals, Stjepan Babić permanently indebted many generations and marked Croatian language culture.