Atis Kronvalds

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Kronvalds, Atis


(also Atis Kronvalda; in Russian, Atis Kristapovich KronvaPd). Born Apr. 3 (15), 1837, in Kurzeme; died Feb. 5 (17), 1875, in Vecpiebalga, in present-day Cesis Raion. Latvian publicist, linguist, teacher, and public figure.

Kronvalds was the son of a village craftsman. He audited lectures at the University of Berlin (1859), and in 1867 graduated from the teachers training courses at the University of Tartu (Dorpat). As a member of the bourgeois liberal Young Latvian movement, Kronvalds opposed the policy of Germanization. He believed that the path to national rebirth lay in perfecting the Latvian language and ridding it of Germanisms, in expanding the network of national schools, and in establishing various progressive public organizations.

Kronvalds popularized pedagogical science among Latvian teachers. In articles on the national language, he demonstrated the enormous significance of the Russian language for Latvian culture. He played an important role in the development of the Latvian literary language, particularly as the originator of many new words. His best-known book is National Aspirations (German edition, 1872; Latvian edition, 1887).