GABELENTZ, Hans Conon von der

GABELENTZ, Hans Conon von der. Altenburg (Thüringen) 13.10.1807 — Lemnitz bei Triptis (Thüringen) 3.9.1874. German Linguist. Son of chancellor Leopold v. d. G. (1778–1831) and Marianne von Seebach (1784–1876), of an old Saxonian noble family. Together with the publisher F. A. Brockhaus and two other friends the father invented the game known as skat. Himself attended Friedrichsgymnasium in Altenburg, where —> Hermann Brockhaus was his classmate. As a schoolboy he already learned Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic, Turkish and Persian. In 1825-28 studied law at Leipzig and Göttingen, in addition learned now Manchu, Mongolian and Finno-Ugric languages. In 1830 entered Sachsen-Altenburg civil service, from 1848 member of Bundestag and member and President of Altenburger Landtag. Now he was capable of to concentrating more on his linguistic studies. Retired in 1870. Married 1833 Henriette von Linsingen (1813– 1892), had two sons (—> Albert and —> Georg v. d. G.) and three daughters. Hon. Ph.D. 1846 Leipzig.

HCvdG was a wealthy man, who mainly lived in his castle (Schloss Poschwitz in Altenburg, belonged to the family from the 14th century) studying mainly Altaic and Finno-Ugric languages, but also many others (including American Dakota). He was the first to show, from the material published by Leech in India, that Mogoli is a Mongolian language. In 1862 his wife bought c. 30 Mongolian manuscripts from the inheritance of Castrén. Among them, HCvdG selected the Mongolian Siṁhāsanadvātriṁśati for a special study.

Publications: Éléments de la grammaire mandchoue. 1832; Grundzüge der syrjänischen Grammatik. Altenburg 1841; Sse-schu, Schu-king, schi-king. Hrsg. mit Mandschu-deutsches Wörterbuch. A.K.M. 3:1-2. 1864; translated from Manchu: Geschichte der Grossen Liao. St.Petersburg 1877; “Über mongolische Poesie”, ZKM 1, 1837; Die Melanesischen Sprachen. ASGW 8, 1860; and much else on different languages.

– “Grammatik und Wörterbuch der Kassiasprache”, BVSGW 10, 1858, 1-66 (Khasi in Assam).

Sources: W. Böttger, N.D.B. 6, 1964, 2f.; *G. v. d. Gabelentz, BVSGW 38, 1886, 217-241; A. Leskien, A.D.B. 8, 1878, 286-288; *F. Plank, Lex. gramm. 1996, 319f.; Stache-Weiske 2017, 521; M. Taube, WZLeipzig 1979:1, 34-39; Akad. der Wiss. der DDR. 1983; Wikipedia with portrait (more and another portrait in German version).

*H. Walravens (ed.), “Freilich lag in den zu überwindenden Schwierigkeiten ein besonderer Reiz…” Briefwechsel der Sprachwissenschaftler H.C. v. d. G., Wilhelm Schott und Anton Schiefner, 1834–1874. Sinologica Coloniensia 26. Wb. 2008; *H. Walravens, “… Ihr ewig dankbarer B. Jülg.” Briefwechsel der Sprachwissenschaftler Bernhard Jülg (1825–1886) und H.C. v. d. G. (1807–1874). Wb. 2013.

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