HAHN, E. Adelaide

HAHN, Emma Adelaide. New York 1.4.1893 — New York 8.7.1967. U.S. Classical and IE Scholar. Daughter of Otto Hahn, an Austrian immigrant, and Eleonore Funk. Educated at home, then at Hunter College in New York (A.B. 1915) and Columbia University (A.M. 1917, Ph.D. 1929 under Ch. Knapp), where Sturtevant was among her teachers. In 1915-16 Hon. Fellow for Latin, Hunter, in 1917-21 Instructor in French and 1921-25 Instructor in Latin at Hunter, Assistant Professor 1925, Associate Prof. 1933, from 1936 Professor and Chair of Department of Classics, retired 1963. From 1946 the first woman as the President of Linguistic Society of America. Died of cancer.

Hahn was a scholar who attracted attention both by her learning and her personality. She was also tireless advocate of civil rights, women’s suffrage and social justice. As a woman she never got a post-graduate position, but had to teach undergraduates. Thus she had close ties to Yale, but chaired 25 years department at Hunter. She was a scholar of Latin literature and especially of its linguistic history, extending her interests to comparative IE, where she was much influenced by Sturtevant. She also made important contibutions on Hittite.

Publications: Diss. manuscript 1929 publ. Coordination of Non-coordinate Elements in Vergil. Geneva NY 13+264 p. 1930; a number of articles on Latin literature and language, also a few on Hittite, mostly in Cl.J., Cl. World, TAPA and AJPh, also a few on Hittite. 

– “Some Hittite Words in ta-”, Language 12, 1936, 108-120; “Quintilian on Greek Letters Lacking in Latin and Latin Letters Lacking in Greek (12.10.27-29)”, Language 17, 1941, 24-32; “The Indefinite-Relative-Interrogative Stem”, Language 18, 1942, 83-116; “The Shift of a Hittite Conjunction from the Temporal to the Conditional Sphere”, Language 20, 1944, 91-107; “The Origin of the Relative kwi- kwo-”, Language 22, 1946, 68-85; “The Non-Restrictive Relative in Hittite”, Language 25, 1949, 346-374; “Edgar Howard Sturtevant”, Language 28, 1952, 417-434; “Some Hittite-Sanskrit Parallels”, Language 29, 1953, 242-254; “wæs Hrunting nama”, Language 37, 1961, 476-483 (IE); “Verbal Nouns and Adjectives in Some Ancient Languages”, Language 42, 1966, 378-398.

Co-author in the 2nd ed. of Sturtevant’s Hittite Grammar. 20+199 p. New Haven 1951.

Subjunctive and optative. Their origin as futures. 18+157 p. Philol. Monogr. 16. Lancaster, PA 1953.

Naming-constructions in some Indo-European Languages. 28+250 p. Philol. Monogr. 27. Cleveland 1969.

Sources: W.M. Calder III in Briggs (ed.), Biogr. Dict. of N. Am. Class. 1994, 248; *Julia S. Falk, Women, language and linguistics: Three American stories from the first half of twentieth century. Routledge studies in the history of linguistics 2. L. & N.Y. 1999, 185-264; *J.P. Hallett in caas-cw.org; *H.M. Hoenigswald, Lex. gramm. 1996, 383; G.S. Lane, Language 43, 1967, 958-964 with select bibliography; Wikipedia with photo; J.P. Hallett in www.caas-cw.org/archive/hahnbio.html with photo.

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