FAY, Edwin Whitfield. Minden, Louisiana 1.1.1865 — Pittsburgh, PA 17.2.1920. U.S. Indologist and Linguist. Professor in Texas. Son of Edwin Hedge Fay, a known educator, and Sarah Elizabeth Shields, attended with a few other boys on a special permission the girls’ school, Silliman Institute, where his father was the principal. Graduated from Southwestern Presbyterian University in Clarksville, Tennessee (M.A. 1883). Wrote poetry and played music. After three years as a school-teacher in Mississippi and Texas he studied Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore (under Bloomfield). After Ph.D. there in 1890 further studies in 1891-92 at Leipzig under Brugmann and Windisch. In 1890-91 Instructor of Sanskrit and classics at Michigan University (but in Europe). In 1892-93 Associate Professor of Latin at University of Texas, then 1893-99 Professor of Latin at Washington and Lee University in Lexington VA. From 1899 until his death Professor of Latin at University of Texas, also taught Greek and Sanskrit. Married 1904 Lucy Belle Hemphill, two sons. He was a specialist of etymology and phonetics, and a popular teacher.
Publications: Diss. The Rig-Veda Mantras in the Gṛhya-Sūtras. 1890, publ. 32 p. Roanoke VA 1899.
– C. 190 articles in JAOS, AJPh, KZ, etc., e.g. “Agglutination and Adaptation”, AJPh 15, 1894, 409-442; “The Aryan [=IE] God of Lightning”, AJPh 17, 1896, 1-29; “On Rig-Veda X, 73”, JAOS 16, 1896 = PAOS 1894, ccxxix-ccxxxv; “Studies in Sanskrit Words”, JAOS 27:2, 1907, 402-417; “Indo-Iranian Word Studies”, JAOS 31, 1911, 403-413 & 34, 1915, 329-343; “Derivatives of the Root stha in composition”, AJPh 33, 1912, 377-400 & 34, 1913, 15-42.
– Important defects in indo-european phonology. 44 p. Univ. of Texas Bulletin. Austin 1917.
– History of Education in Louisiana. Washington 1898; T. Macci Plauti Mostellaria. Boston 1898.
Sources: *W. J. Battle, Dict. Am. Biogr. 6, 304; W. W. Briggs Jr. in Briggs (ed.), Biogr. Dict. of N. Am. Class. 1994, 170f.; *C. W. E. Miller, AJPh 41, 1920, 96; Nat. Cyclop. of Am. Biogr. 24, 1935, 328f.; Who Was Who in America 1; https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/ffa17; briefly Wikipedia.
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