HUNFALVY, Pál

HUNFALVY, Pál (born Paul Hundsdorfer). Nagyszalók (now Velký Slavkov in Slovakia) 12.3.1810 — Budapest 30.11.1891. Hungarian Linguist. Librarian in Budapest. Born in a poor farmer family with German background, learned Hungarian only as student, but became increasingly Hungaroan-minded and changed his name. His younger brother was the geographer Jan H. After school at Késmárk and Miskolcz studied law at Budapest, but never practtised as lawyer. In 1842-49 Professor of Law at Késmárk Collegium, in 1849 elected to the parliament and moved to Budapest. From 1851 librarian of Hungarian Academy of Science.

PH was mainly scholar of Finno-Ugrian, but also wrote on the Gipsy language. He established the position of Hungarian as Finno-Ugric language and made important work on Vogul and Ostyak. In his later years he wrote little about linguistics, much about Hungarian and Romanian history.

Publications: Edited: Maguar nyelvészet. 1-6. 1856-61; Nyelvtudomány közleményrek. 1862-78.

Several books of Finno-Ugric and Altaic linguistics and on Hungarian and Romanian history, literary essays, translations from Greek and Arabic.

– “Etwas über die ungarländischen Zigeuner”, Actes du 8ème Congrès int. des Orientalistes tenu en 1889 à Stockholm et à Christiania, t. 3, section 2: Aryenne, 1893, 91-113 (on history and language).

A few Hungarian articles and reviews listed in Puskás 1991, 5:59-63.

Sources: Th. Duka, JRAS 1892, 149-157; Wurzbach 9, 1863, 431-433; Ö.B.L. 3, 1965, 12; German Wikipedia with picture.

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