Schleicher, August


Schleicher, August
born Feb. 19, 1821, Meiningen, Saxe-Meiningen
died Dec. 6, 1868, Jena, Prussia

German linguist.

He began his career studying classical and Slavic languages. Influenced by G.W.F. Hegel and Charles Darwin, he formed the theory that a language is an organism, with periods of development, maturity, and decline. He invented a system of language classification that resembled a botanical taxonomy, tracing groups of related languages and arranging them in a genealogical tree. His model, the Stammbaumtheorie ("family-tree theory"), was a major development in the study of Indo-European languages. His great work was A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European, Sanskrit, Greek and Latin Languages (1874–77), in which he attempted to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European.

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▪ German linguist

born Feb. 19, 1821, Meiningen, Saxe-Meiningen
died Dec. 6, 1868, Jena, Prussia
 German linguist whose work in comparative linguistics was a summation of the achievements up to his time and whose methodology provided the direction for much subsequent research. He was influenced by the philosophy of G.W.F. Hegel, which he espoused during his student days at the University of Tübingen, and, later, by the views of Charles Darwin. Ultimately, he aimed to devise a logical and scientific theory of language based on a combination of the Hegelian theory of history and Darwinian natural selection.

      From 1850 to 1857 Schleicher taught classical philology and the comparative study of Greek and Latin at the University of Prague. During this period he turned to the study of Slavic languages. In 1852 he began research on Lithuanian while living among the peasantry of Prussian Lithuania. This was the first attempt to study an Indo-European language directly from speech rather than from texts. His results appeared in the remarkable Handbuch der litauischen Sprache (1856–57; “Handbook of the Lithuanian Language”), the first scientific description and analysis of Lithuanian, complete with a grammar, reader, and glossary.

      In the course of his professorship at the University of Jena (1857–68), he published many works, including the one on which his fame rests, Compendium der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen (1861–62; partial trans., A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European, Sanskrit, Greek and Latin Languages, 1874–77), in which he studied the common characteristics of the languages and attempted to reconstruct the proto-Indo-European parent language, or Ursprache. Schleicher believed that language is an organism exhibiting periods of development, maturity, and decline. As such, it could be studied by the methods of natural science. Developing a system of language classification resembling a botanical taxonomy, he traced groups of related languages and arranged them into a genealogical tree. His model came to be known as the Stammbaumtheorie, or family-tree theory, and was a major development in the history of Indo-European studies or, more generally, in historical linguistic theory.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Schleicher, August — (19 feb. 1821, Meiningen, Sajonia–Meiningen–6 dic. 1868, Jena, Prusia). Lingüista alemán. Comenzó su carrera estudiando lenguas clásicas y eslavas. Influido por G.W.F. Hegel y Charles Darwin, elaboró la teoría de que una lengua es un organismo,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • SCHLEICHER, AUGUST —    German philologist, did eminent service by his studies in the Indo Germanic languages, and particularly in the Slavonic languages (1821 1868) …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • August Schleicher — (* 19. Februar 1821 in Meiningen; † 6. Dezember 1868 in Jena) war ein deutscher Sprachwissenschaftler; gilt als Begründer der Stammbaumtheorie in der vergleichenden Sprachforschung und zusammen mit Franz Bopp als Wegbereiter der Indogermanistik.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Schleicher's fable — (avis akvāsas ka) is an artificial text composed in the reconstructed language Proto Indo European (PIE), published by August Schleicher in 1868. Schleicher was the first scholar to compose a text in PIE. The fable is entitled Avis akvāsas ka (… …   Wikipedia

  • Schleicher — Schleicher, August, Sprachforscher, geb. 19. Febr. 1821 in Meiningen, gest. 6. Dez. 1868 in Jena, studierte in Leipzig, Tübingen und Bonn zuerst Theologie, dann die orientalischen und altklassischen Sprachen, habilitierte sich 1846 in Bonn als… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • august — augustly, adv. augustness, n. /aw gust /, adj. 1. inspiring reverence or admiration; of supreme dignity or grandeur; majestic: an august performance of a religious drama. 2. venerable; eminent: an august personage. [1655 65; < L augustus sacred,… …   Universalium

  • August — /aw geuhst/, n. 1. the eighth month of the year, containing 31 days. Abbr.: Aug. 2. a male given name, form of Augustus. [bef. 1100; ME < L Augustus (named after AUGUSTUS); r. OE Agustus < L, as above] * * * (as used in expressions) Arrhenius… …   Universalium

  • August — (as used in expressions) Franz Albrecht August Karl Emanuel, príncipe von Sajonia Coburgo Gotha Arrhenius, Svante (August) August Fryderyk Bebel, August Bournonville, August Bruch, Max (Karl August) Bürger, Gottfried August Froebel, Friedrich… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • August Schleicher — (February 19, 1821 – December 6, 1868) was a German linguist born in Meiningen (Duchy Saxe Meiningen, southwest of Weimar in the Thuringian Forest). His great work was A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo European Languages , in… …   Wikipedia

  • August Schleicher — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda August Schleicher (19 de febrero de 1821 6 de diciembre de 1868), lingüista alemán. Su trabajo más importante fue Compendio de la gramática comparativa de los idiomas indoeuropeos, en el cual …   Wikipedia Español


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