MEYER, Leo

MEYER, Leo Karl Heinrich. Bledeln near Sarstedt (Hannover) 3.7.1830 — Göttingen 6.10.1910. German IE Scholar in Estonia. Professor in Dorpat. Son of Carl Friedrich M., a minister, and Jeanette Schlüter. After Lyceum in Hannover and gymnasium in Holzminden in 1844-49, studies at Göttingen, concentrating on German, Latin, Greek and Sanskrit (under Benfey), in 1855 also one term at Berlin (Bopp, J. Grimm). Ph.D. 1856 Göttingen. From 1856 PD at Göttingen (of German, Sanskrit, Greek and Latin), from 1862 eo. Professor there. From 1865 ord. Professor of German and Comparative Linguistics at Dorpat (now Tartu) University in Estonia. In 1869-99 President of Gelehrte Estnische Gesellschaft. In 1899 fled because of the Russification policy to Göttingen, where he was made a Honorary Professor. Married 1865 with Haase. According to Stache-Weiske 2017, 544 died 6.6.1910.

Like many 19th century scholars Meyer attempted to be a general philologist commanding German, IE and Indian as well. In his published work he rarely discussed Sanskrit, but he taught the language to many students who then sought for further learning in Germany. Among his students were N. Anderson, P. v. Bradke, F. Knauer, Arvid Johansson, L. Masing, L. von Schroeder, Staël-Holstein, J. Toepffer and O. Wiedemann. Also interested in Fenno-Ugrian.

Publications: Diss. Der Infinitif der Homerischen Sprache. 51 p. Göttingen 1856.

– Hab.diss. Über die Flexion der Adjectiva im Deutschen. 69 p. B. 1863.

Vergleichende Grammatik der griechischen und lateinischen Sprache. 1-2. B. 1863-65, 2nd ed. 1882-84; An im Griechischen, Lateinischen und Gotischen. Ein Beitrag zur vergleichenden Syntax. B. 1880; Handbuch der griechischen Etymologie. 1-4. Lp. 1901-02.

Die gotische Sprache. Ihre Lautgestaltung, insbesondere im Verhältnis zum Altindischen, Griechischen und Lateinischen. Göttingen 1869.

– Several further works, also on Estonian German onomastics and history.

Numerous articles in KZ, BB, Orient & Okz., NGGW, etc.; e.g. “Die griechisch-lateinischen Vocale”, Orient & Okz. 1, 1862, 55-116; “Die Kehllaute des gotischen Sprache in ihrem Verhältnissen zu denen des Altindischen, Griechischen und Lateinischen”, Orient & Okz. 1, 1862, 611-625 & 2, 1864, 75-90, 279-293.

Sources: B. Forssman, N.D.B. 17, 1994, 363f.; Hallik & Klaassen 2002, 129-132; E. Kärner, Internationales Germanistenlexikon 1800-1950 2, 2003, 1217f.; *W. Reiman, FUFAnz 10, 1910, 108-111; W. Schlüter, Biobibliogr. slovar’ … Jur’evskago … universiteta. 2. Jur’ev 1903, 563-566 and *Sitzungsber. der Gelehrten Estnischen Ges. 1900, 1-19 & Ibid. 1910, 167-172; Wikipedia with photo (little more and a portrait in German version).

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