MENGES, Karl Heinrich

MENGES, Karl Heinrich. Frankfurt a.M. 22.4.1908 — Vienna 20.9.1999. German Turkologist in the U.S.A. Professor in New York. Born in a Roman Catholic family. Educated at Lessing Gymnasium in Frankfurt, matriculated 1926. Studies at Frankfurt, Munich and from 1928 at Berlin. Ph.D. 1932 Berlin. Several early field trips to Soviet Union. As Catholic he resisted the Nazi government and was arrested in 1936 by Gestapo, but released after interrogation and fled hastily to Czechoslovakia (thus English Wikipedia, German says it was because of his close relations with Communists). Soon continued to Turkey and 1940 to the U.S.A. From 1940 teacher, 1947 Associate Professor and 1956 Professor at Columbia University, New York, until 1976. After retirement he moved to Vienna and taught there almost until his death.

Beside Altaic, his main speciality, he knew many languages and often included them in his studies. Thus he discussed Dravidian, Uralic, Semito-Hamitic, Karthvelian, often looking for their possible connections with Altaic. He wrote 15 books and numerous articles and reviews.

Publications: For his wide output on Altaic and other linguistic groups see Knüppel’s bibliography.

– “Altajisch und Drāviḍisch”, Orbis 13, 1964, 66-103; “Etymologika”,StOr28:8, 1964 (Fs. Räsänen), 1-32; “The Dravido-Altaic relationship”, JTS1:1, 1969, 35-39; “Dravidian and Altaic”, Anthropos 72, 1977, 129-179.

– “The European word for pearl of Dravidian origin?”, OS 19-20, 1970-71 (1972), 205-215; “East-Western cultural words”, IJDL 1/2, 1972, 46-56; “is the European word for pearl of Dravidian origin?”, JTS 2, 1972, 1-9; a few Dravidological reviews in CAJ 1953, 1963,1970 and UAJ 1970.

– The Turkic Languages and Peoples, an Introduction to Turkic Studies. 14+248 p. Ural-Altaische Bibl. 15. Wb. 1968.

Sources: *H. Anetshofer, CAJ 45, 2001, 3-6; *M. Knüppel, KHM bibliography, WZKM Beiheft 1. Vienna 2006; *R.A. Miller, CAJ 27, 1983, 161-167 & *UAJ N.F. 16, 1999-2000, 1-10; *A. Tietze, WZKM 91, 2001, 7f.; Wikipedia (more in German version).

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