SENN, Alfred

SENN, Alfred. Blotzheim, Alsace (then Germany) 19.3.1899 — Ashford, CT 9.2.1978. Swiss Linguist of Baltic, German and IE in Lithuania and the U.S.A. Born in Alsace near Swiss border as the son of a farmer, studied at Fribourg and Heidelberg. Ph.D. 1921 Fribourg, went immediately to Lithuania. In 1922-30 taught as Docent at Kaunas University. In 1930-31 Sterling Research Fellow in Germanistics at Yale. Remained in the U.S.A. (naturalized 1936) and taught in 1931-38 as Professor of Germanic and IE Philology at University of Wisconsin in Madison. From 1938 Professor of Germanistics at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia (from 1948 also of Baltic and Slavic). In 1947 he founded there the Department of Slavic and Baltic Studies and chaired it until his retirement in 1979. In addition to German and Lithuanian he taught many ancient and modern IE languages and comparative linguistics. Married with Marija Vedlugaite, the historian Alfred E. Senn (1932–2016) is their son.

Publications: Diss. publ. Germanische Lehnwortstudien. 64 p. Heidelberg 1925.

Handbuch der litauischen Sprache. 1-2. Heidelberg 1957-66, and many other publications on Baltic.

Articles on IE linguistics in Die Sprache, etc., often on Finnish-IE contacts.

Aus meinem Leben. 1952.

Sources: *M. Benson, Names 26, 1978, 285f.; W. R. Schmalstieg, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 850; Swiss Who’s Who; Latvian encyclopedia 199?.

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