Gottlund, Carl Axel

Carl Axel Gottlund, born 1796 in Finnish Uusimaa, was a Finnish folklore collector, university lecturer and, although he himself was Swedish speaking, a champion of Finnish language and culture who died in Helsinki in 1875.

In Norway and Sweden, he is remembered for rediscovering the immigrated forest Finns in Värmland and Hedmark, and for his commitment to strengthening their culture. While a student in Uppsala, Gottlund undertook a study trip on foot through the "Finnskogs" in Sweden and Norway in 1821.

In 1818 he published the treatise De proverbiis fennicis and the first printed collection of Finnish ancient songs Pieniä runoja. Suomen pojillen ratoxi (Small songs for the pleasure of the sons of Finland; second part 1821). From 1839, he was employed as a lecturer in Finnish language at the University of Helsinki.

As a linguist, Gottlund was in constant conflict with his Finnish colleagues such as Lönnrot. Gottlund wanted to base the written language on the eastern Finnish Savolaks dialect, which he himself only partially mastered, and his etymological speculations were characterized by the same romantic swooning as much of his other work.