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 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 Manchu, Mongolian and Finno-Ugric languages. In 1830 entered Altenburg civil service, from 1848 member of Bundestag and member and President of Altenburger Landtag. Now he was able to concentrate 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 Altaic and Fenno-Ugric languages. 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 MSS. from the inheritance of Castrén. Among them, HCvdG selected the Mongolian Siṁhāsanadvātriṁśati for a special study.

Publications: Éléments de la grammaire mandchoue. 1832; Sse-schu, Schu-king, schi-king. Hrsg. mit Mandschu-deutsches Wörterbuch. A.K.M. 3:1-2. 186?; translated from Manchu: Geschichte der Grossen Liao. 1877; “Über mongolische Poesie”, ZKM 1, 1837; Die Melanesischen Sprachen. A.S.G.W. 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; Leskien, A.D.B. 8, 1878, 286-288; *F. Plank, Lex. gramm. 1996, 319f.; M. Taube, WZLeipzig 1979:1, 34-39; Akad. der Wiss. der DDR. 1983; Wikipedia with portrait.

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