STURTEVANT, Edgar Howard

STURTEVANT, Edgar Howard. Jacksonville, Ill. 7.3.1875 — Branford, CT 1.7.1952. U.S. IE and Hittite Scholar. Professor in New Haven. Son of Alfred Henry St., a farmer, and Harriet Morse. After Indiana College in Jacksonville (it was founded by his grandfather) studies at Indiana University (A.B 1898) and University of Chicago (Ph.D. 1901, diss. on Latin case forms, under Buck). In 1901-02 Instructor of Latin at Indiana University (taught also Sanskrit), in 1903-05 acting Professor of Greek at Maryville College, Tennessee, 1903-05 acting Assistant Professor of Latin at University of Missouri, 1905-07 acting Assistant Professor at Indiana University. In 1907-13 Instructor in Classical Philology at Columbia University in New York, in 1913-20 Assistant Professor there. In 1920-23 Clerk in Irving National Bank in New York. From 1923 taught at Yale: 1923-26 Assistant Professor of Greek and Latin, 1926-27 Associate Professor of Linguistics, from 1927 Professor of Linguistics. Emeritus 1943. Hon. LL.D. 1939 Indiana University. Hon. LL.D. 1941 University of Chicago and 1951 Yale.Married 1903 Bessie Fitch Skinner (d. 1949), a daughter and two sons.

Sturtevant began his career as a classical scholar, but became famousfor putting Hittite on its place in IE linguistics, beginning in 1925. He clearly saw that Hittite had separated from the Proto-IE at an early stage – a “cousin” of IE he once called it – and coined the term Indo-Hittite for them.He was a popular teacher and among his many students were Emeneau and Hahn and even his own daughter Grace (who was also the daughter-in-law of E. W. Hopkins). He was central figure in organizing the Linguistic Institute arranged, with some interruptions, every summer since 1928. Also interested in modern American English dialects and in Amerindian languages.

Publications: Diss. on the contraction of case forms in Latin, publ. 1902, until 1920 mainly wrote on classical philology; Latin text editions.

Linguistic Change. 193 p. Chicago 1917, new ed. N.Y. 1942; The Pronunciation of Greek and Latin. Chicago 1920, rev. ed. 192 p. Philadelphia 1940; Introduction to Linguistic Science. 173 p. New Haven 1947.

“On the Position of Hittite among the Indo-European Languages”, Language 2, 1926, 25-34

– “The misuse of case forms in the Achaemenian inscriptions”, JAOS 48, 1928, 66-73.

Hittite Glossary: Words of Known or Conjectured Meaning, with Sumerian Ideograms and Accadian Words Common in Hittite Texts. 82 p. Language Monogr. 9. Baltimore 1931

Comparative grammar of the Hittite language. 320 p. Philadelphia 1933, 2nd ed. 1. 20+199 p. New Haven 1951; other works on Hittite.

“Sanskrit ā ‘near’ is Cognate with Latin ā ‘from’”, Language 15, 1939, 145-154; “The Prehistory of Indo-European: A Summary”, Language 28, 1952, 177-181.

The Indo-Hittite Laryngeals. 103 p. Baltimore 1942.

– Numerous further articles (just in the Language no less than 50) and reviews.

Sources: M.B. Emeneau, *American Philosophical Soc. Yearbook 1952 (1953), 339-343 (republ. in Sebeok 1966:2, 365-369); E.A. Hahn, Language 28, 1952, 417-434 (republ. in Sebeok 1966:2, 369-384); *H. M. Hoenigswald, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 892f.; W.F. Wyatt Jr. in Briggs (ed.), Biogr. Dict. of N. Am. Class. 1994, 617-619 with photo; Wikipedia.

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