LESKIEN, August. Kiel 8.7.1840 — Leipzig 20.9.1916. German IE and Slavic Linguist. Professor in Leipzig. Son of a master carpenter, he was able of entering the Gymnasium in Kiel only in the age of 16, but then proceeded rapidly. In 1820 started classical studies at Kiel University, then moved to Leipzig, where he learned many other languages, too. Ph.D. 1864. In 1864-66 taught at Thomasgymnasium in Leipzig and studied IE linguistics under Schleicher at Jena. Now he became particularly interested in Baltic and Slavic. From 1867 PD für vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft at Göttingen, in 1869 succeeded Schleicher as ao. Professor für vergl. Sprachwissenschaft und Sanskrit at Jena. From 1870 ao. and from 1876 until his death ord. Professor für slavische Philologie at Leipzig. He was also among chief editors of the Ersch & Gruber Encyclopedia (1882ff.) and of the 14th edition of the Brockhaus Encyclopedia (1891ff.).
AL was a famous teacher and one of the founders of the Neogrammarian school. In his research he mainly dealt with Baltic and Slavic, in his late years also with Albanian.
Publications: diss. Rationem quam I. Bekker in restituendo digammo secutus est, examinavit. 1866.
– Die Deklination im Slavisch-Litauischen und Germanischen. 158 p. Lp. 1876.
– Handbuch der altbulgarischen Sprache. Heidelberg 1871, 6th ed. 1922; Grammatik der altbulgarischen (altkirchenslavischen) Sprache. Heidelberg 1909 and many edd.
– Grammatik der Serbokroatischen Sprache. 1. 1914.
– Balkanmärchen. 1915 (transl.); Litauisches Lesebuch. Heidelberg 1919.
Sources: K. Brugmann, Ber. Verh. Sächs. Ges. Wiss. 68, 1916, 16*-30*; *R. Hammol, Lex. gramm. 1996, 565-567; *V. Jagić, Archiv f. slav. Philol. 37, 1918/20, 270–280; H. D. Pohl, N.D.B. 14, 1985, 329f.; *W. Streitberg, Idg. Jb. 1, 1913, 216-218 (with photo) and *7, 1919, 138-143; briefly D.B.E. 6, 1997, 342; Wikipedia with photo.
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