UHLENBECK, Christianus Cornelius. Voorburg 18.10.1866 — Lugano, Switzerland 12.8.1951 (or 1959?). Dutch Linguist and IE Scholar. Professor in Leiden. Son of Peter Frederik U., a retired naval officer (serving in Indonesia) with German background, and Julie le Roux, grew up in Haarlem. Studied from 1885 Dutch Literature at Leidenunder P. J. Cosijn et al., apparently also Sanskrit under Kern. Ph.D. 1888 Leiden (Kern). In 1890 archival studies in Russia. In 1892-99 ao. Professor (buiteng. hooglerar) of Sanskrit at Amsterdam, taught there also Russian and Old Germanic. In 1899-1926 Professor of Old Germanic Languages and Comparative Linguistics at Leiden (succeeding Cosijn). After 1926 lived in Nijmegen and Amersfoort and from 1936 in Lugano. From 1904 Member of Dutch Academy. Married 1891 Wilhelmina Maria Melchior.
Uhlenbeck is well known in Indology as the author of the first complete etymological dictionary of Sanskrit, but the main part of his work lies elsewhere. Already as student he became interested in Basque. He was interested in many different families of languages, being convinced that their study would also much benefit IE linguistics, mainly concentrating on Basque and Greenlandic. In 1910-11 he was twicein the U.S.A., collecting material on the Blackfoot language in Montana, and then mainly concentrated on the still little known field of American languages. Finally frustrated with his duties and suffering of over-fatigue and depression he took early retirement. In his later years he liked to combine IE, Uralic and Greenlandic into one whole. His long-time hobby was genealogy.. Among his students were van Ginneken, van Gulik, Kuiper and Vogel.
Publications: Diss. De verwantschapsbetrekkingen tusschen de germaansche en baltoslavische talen. 6+77 p. Leiden 1888.
– Kurzgefasste etymologische Wörterbuch der gotischen Sprache. 8+174 p. Amst. 1896, 2nd ed. 1900.
– Kurzgefasste etymologische Wörterbuch der altindischen Sprache. 12+367 p. Amsterdam 1898-99.
– Handboek der Indische Klankleer in vergelijking met die der Idg. samtaal. 101 p. Leiden 1894, English transl. A manual of Sanksrit phonetics, in comparison with the Indogermanic mother-language, for Students of Germanic and Classical Philology. 112 p. L. 1898, 2nd ed. 1960.
– Baskische Studiën. 1892; Beiträge zu einer vergleichenden Lautlehre der baskischen Dialekte. 104+11 p. VKNAW 5:1 & 24+1. Amsterdam 1903-23; Woordafleitende suffixen van het Baskisch. 79 p. VKNAW 6:3. Amst. 1905.
– Ontwerp van eene vergelijkende vormleer der Eskimotalen. 76 p. VKNAW 8:3. Amsterdam 1907.
– Original Blackfoot texts. 10+106, 10+264 p. VKNAW 12:1 & 13:1. Amst. 1911-12; Flexion of the Substantives in Blackfoot. 1913; Blackfoot morphology. 1914; A concise Blackfoot grammar. 240 p. VKNAW 41. Amst. 1938; with R. H. van Gulik, English–Blackfoot and Blackfoot–English Vocabulary. 1-2. 263+380 p. Amst. 1930-34; other studies on Amerindian languages.
– “Die einheimischen Sprachen Nord-Amerikas bis zum Rio Grande”, Anthropos 3, 1908, 773-800 & 5, 1910, 779-786, 1161.
– Much on Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages.
Sources: Wie is dat? 1958; *A.J. van Essen, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 945; *A. Griffiths, “C. C. Uhlenbeck’s work on Sanskrit and his role in the history of Dutch Indology”, Inge Genee & Jan Paul Hinrichs (eds.), C. C. Uhlenbeck (1866-1951): A linguist revisited = Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies / Revue canadienne d’études néerlandaises 29:2 / 30:1, 2008-09), 71-77; J.P.B. de Josselin de Jong, *Lingua 3, 1953, 243-268 (republ. in Sebeok 1966:2, 253-266, original Dutch version in *Jaarboek der K. N. Akad. van Wet. 1951-52); Wikipedia with photo (more in Dutch version, with further references); photo also in in Pedersen 1959, 126.
*W. M. Uhlenbeck-Melchior: Montana 1911: a professor and his wife among the Blackfeet: Wilhelmina Maria Uhlenbeck-Melchior’s diary and C. C. Uhlenbeck’s original Blackfoot texts and a new series of Blackfoot texts. 19??. and new ed. 2005 (original in Dutch)
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