TEDESCO, Paul

TEDESCO, Paul Maximilian. Vienna 5.5.1898 — New Haven 17.12.1980. Austrian Indologist in the U.S.A. Professor in New Haven. Son of Oscar Isidor T., a a Slovakian Jew and civil engineer, and Thekla Tiktin. Studies in Vienna. Ph.D. 1920 Vienna (under B. Geiger). In 1924-36 gymnasium teacher in Austria. He tried actively enter academic career, but remained without success because of his Jewishness (Schmitt), the attempt to habilitate at Vienna did not succeed. In 1938 emigrated to the U.S.A. In 1938-44 Member of Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton. From 1944 at Yale: 1944-52 Research Fellow, 1952-60 Associate Professor of Indo-Iranian and Slavic Linguistics, 1960-66 E. E. Salisbury Professor of Sanskrit and Comparative Philology. Emeritus 1966.

Tedesco was a linguist, best known from his early works. In the 1920s he much concentrated on Sogdian and Khotanese, also Middle Persian and Parthian, but his interests also extended to New Iranian. He showed that among Central Asian Manichaean fragments two languages were used: Middle Persian and Parthian.In the U.S.A. he concentrated on etymological studies and on the Middle Indo-Aryan elements in Old Indo-Aryan.

Recently told story claiming that he was “rescued from a German death camp at the end of World War II and brought to the US by Franklin Edgerton” cannot be true as Dir. Am. Sch. has him in the U.S.A. already in 1942. Also Schmitt confirms this.

Publications: Diss. Das iranische Partizipial Präteritum. Manuscript, Vienna 1920 (the handwritten work was destroyed by Nazis and therefore remains unknown).

– “Dialektologie der westiranischen Turfantexte”, MO 15, 1921 (1924), 184-258; “a-Stämme und aya-Stämme im Iranischen”, ZII 2, 1923, 281-315; “Ost­iranische Nominalflexion”, ZII 4, 1926, 94-166; “‘Geben’ und ‘nehmen’ im indischen”, JAOS 43, 1923, 358-390; “La racine sed- en indo-iranien”, BSL 24, 1924, 197-204; “Les rapports sogdo-saces”, BSL 25, 1925, 52-63.

– “Sanskrit muṇḍa- ‘shaven’”, JAOS 65, 1945, 82-98; “Sanskrit mālā ‘wreath’”, JAOS 67, 1947, 85-106; “Hindī bhejnā ‘to send’”, JAOS 65, 1945, 154-163; “Sanskrit pudgala- ‘body, soul’”, JAOS 67, 1947, 172-177; “Sanskrit piṭaka ‘basket’”, Arch. Orientalia in mem. E. Herzfeld 1952, 208-225; “Sanskrit ā-mreḍ- ‘to repeat’”, JAOS 73, 1953, 77-85; “Sanskrit kuśala ‘skilful, welfare’”, JAOS 74, 1954, 131-142; “Sanskrit uñch- ‘to glean’”, JAOS 77, 1957, 193-203; “Again Sanskrit āścarya ‘wondrous’”, JAOS 85, 1965, 86-88.

– “A Pāli Jātaka Gāthā”, JAOS 77, 1957, 47f. (J. 198); “The Sanskrit and Middle Indic words for ‘sinew’”, MNHMHS XARIN. Gedenkschrift Kretschmer 2, 1957, 182-187; “Notes on Mayrhofer’s Etymological Dictionary”, JAOS 80, 1960, 360-366; “Rigvedic váṁsaga- ‘bull’”, Gedenkschrift Brandenstein 1968, 159.

Sources: Dir. Am. Sch. 1st ed. 1942, 5th ed 3, 1969; R. Schmitt, Encyclop. Iranica online 2018 and *N.D.B. 26, 2016, 3a-4a; *full bibliography by R. Schmitt in Iranistik 2, 2003-04, 5-20; parents, full name and death date in geni.com.

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