FICK, Friedrich Conrad August

FICK, Friedrich Conrad August. Petershagen bei Minden 5.5.1833 — Hildesheim 24.3.1916. German Linguist (IE scholar). Professor in Göttingen and Breslau. Son of Otto Vicke (Fick), later Landes­ökonomie­kommissar, and Wilhelmine Hillefeld. School in Hildesheim. Studies of classical philology (K. F. Hermann), then comparative linguistics, Sanskrit and Avesta (Benfey). also Persian and Armenian (Ewald) at Göttingen, 1852-55. For a while tutor, 1858-76? teacher at gymnasium in Göttingen. From 1876 ao. Professor at Göttingen (although many philologists opposed to his election), from 1888 ord. Professor für vgl. Sprach­wissenschaft at Breslau. In 1891 retired because of health problems (he had had them since 1872). Hon. Ph.D. 1873 Dorpat (Tartu). Married 1876 Marie Hüser, no children.

AF was a skilled etymologist and onomast, who compiled the first comparative IE dictionary. He criticized IE colleagues concentrating, in his opinion, too much to Sanskrit, although he knew it well. After 1890 abandoned etymology concentrating on Greek. With much less success he attempted to reconstruct an Aeolic original form for Homer. Among his students were Bechtel, Collitz, R. O. Franke, O. Hoffmann and Smyth in Göttingen.

Publications: Wörterbuch der indogermanischen Grundsprache. 1868, 2nd ed. as Vergleichende Wörterbuch der indogermanischen Sprachen. 1870, 3rd ed. 1874-76, part 1 of the 4th ed. 1890.

Die ehemalige Spracheinheit der Indogermanen Europas. 8+432 p. Göttingen 1873.

Die griechischen Personennamen. Göttingen 1874; Die homerische Odyssee in der ursprünglichen Sprachform wiederhergestellt. Göttigen 1883; Ilias, nach ihrer Entstehung betrachtet und in der ursprünglichen Sprachform wiederhergestellt. 1. Göttingen 1885.

– – Hesiods Gedichte in ihrer ursprunglichen fassung und sprachform. 1887.

Vorgriechische Ortsnamen als Quelle für die Vorgeschichte Griechenlands verwertet. 1905; and other works; articles in the KZ, BB, etc.

Sources: A. Bezzenberger, Idg. Jb. 5, 1917, 282-298 (republ. in Sebeok 1966:1, 453-468) with photo (again in Pedersen 1959, 273 and in TITUS Galeria), ; *id., KZ 47, 1916, 313-316;W. Wissmann, N.D.B. 5, 1961, 130f.; briefly in D.B.E. 3, 1996, 287; German Wikipedia with photo.

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