PEDERSEN, Holger

PEDERSEN, Holger. Gjelballe near Lunderskov, Kolding prov. 7.4.1867 — Hellerup 25.10. 1953. Danish Linguist. Professor in Copenhagen. Born in a teacher family in Jutland, he studied at Copenhagen classical philology, Danish and linguistics under Verner, Thomsen, Møller and Wimmer. Graduated in 1890 he immediately started research work. Further studies in 1892-96 at Leipzig (Brugman, Leskien, Windisch, Sievers), Berlin (J. Schmidt) and Greifswald (Zimmer). In spring 1893 he accompanied Brugmann to Corfu to study Albanian, and in summer and autumn 1895 studied Irish in Aran Islands (West Ireland). Ph.D. 1897 Copenhagen. Taught at Copenhagen University: PD 1897, eo. Professor 1903 and Thomsen’s successor as Professor of Comparative Linguistics from 1912. Retired in 1937.

In Indo-European studies HP was a many-sided linguist, a classical scholar since youth, a specialist of Albanian and a Celtologist, later also noted scholar of Balto-Slavic (“Pedersen’s law”) and Armenian and in his late years of Hittite and Tocharian. He wrote much about the history of linguistics, but was not interested in general linguistics. As early as 1903 he coined the term “Nostratic”, but remained cautious in its application.

Publications: “Das Präsensinfix n”, IF 2, 1893, 285-332.

Albanische Texte mit Glossar. ASAW 15:3. 1895; Zur albanischen Volkskunde. 1898.

diss. Aspirationen i Irsk. 1. 200 p. 1897; part 2. “Die Aspiration im Irischen”, KZ 35, 1899, 315-444.

Sprogvidenskaben. 64 p. Flensborg 1899; Et Blik paa Sprogvidenskabens Historie. 120 p. Copenhagen 1916, English tr. 1983.

– “Die Gutturale im Albanesischen”, KZ 36, 1900, 277-300.

Les pronoms démonstratifs de l’ancien arménien. 51 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 6:3. 1905; “Armenisch und die Nachbarsprachen”, KZ 39, 1906, 334-485.

Vergleichende Grammatik der Keltischen Sprachen. 1-2. 14+544, 15+842 p. Göttingen 1909-13.

Russisk Grammatik. 6+228 p. Cop. 1916; Russisk Læsebog. 8+176 p. Cop. 1916.

Sprogvidenskaben i det nittonde Aarhundrede. 311 p. Cop. 1924, English The Discovery of Language. 360 p. Cambridge MA 1931, Swedish 1924, Chinese 1958.

Le groupement des dialectes indo-européens. 57 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 11:3. 1925.

La cinquième déclinaison latine. 88 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 15:5. 1926.

Études lituaniennes. 63 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 19:3. 1933.

Lykisch und Hittitisch. 77 p. D.V.S.Skr. 30:4. 1945.

Hittitisch und die anderen indoeuropäischen Sprachen. 227 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 25:2. 1938.

Tocharisch vom Gesichtspunkt der indoeurop. Sprachvergleichung. 292 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 30:2. 1941, 2nd ed. 1949; Zur tocharischen Sprachgeschichte. 55 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 30:2. 1944.

– “Sanskrit dur- et dhur-”, Lingua Posnaniensis 2, 1950, 1-3.

Die gemeinindoeuropäischen und vorindoeuropäischen Verschlusslaute. 16 p. D.Vid.Selsk.Skr. 32:5. 1951.

Sources: *C. Henriksen, Lex. gramm. 1996, 710; Korner in introd. to Pedersen’s A glance at the History of Linguistics. Amsterdam Studies III:7. 1983, ix-xxx (with bibliography); *F. B. J. Kuiper, Jaarboek van K.N.A.W. 1955–56, 262-269; Wikipedia with photo.

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