PENZL, Herbert. Neufelden 2.9.1910 — Oakland 1.9.1995. Austrian Linguist in the U.S.A., naturalised 1944. Professor in Berkeley. After gymnasium in Ottakring studied English philology at Vienna. With a scholarship (recommended by S. Freud) went to the U.S.A. and was in 1932-34 Editorial Assistant in the Linguistic Atlas of the U.S.A. and Canada at Brown University. Ph.D. 1936 Vienna. In 1936-38 Assistant Professor of German at Rockford College, Illinois. In 1938-39 Associate and 1939-49 Professor of German at University of Illinois. During the war served 1943-45 in U.S. Army. In 1950-53 Associate and 1953-63 full Professor at University of Michigan. From 1963 Professor of German Philology at University of California in Berkeley. Retired in 19??. In 1958-59 Visiting Professor at Kabul, 1980 at Vienna and 1981 at Regensburg. Hon. Ph.D. 1986 Vienna. Married 1950 Vera Rothmüller.
After the war Penzl met Afghan students and in 1948-49 carried out linguistic fieldwork on Pashto in Kandahar area. From a start as European philologist he had turned into a structuralist, without forgetting historical and literary aspect. As a Germanist he was the first to record the German dialect of the Mennonites.
Publications: A Grammar of Pashto. A descriptive study of the dialect of Kandahar, Afghanistan. 6+170 p. Washington D.C. 1955; A Reader of Pashto. 273 p. Ann Arbor 1962, 2nd ed. 1965; articles on Pashto in ZDMG 1952 and JAOS 1951, 1954, 1961 and Shahidullah Presentation Volume 1966, reviews.
– Much on German and English linguistics (altogether he published about 250 research articles).
Sources: U. Maas in “Verfolgung und Auswanderung deutschsprachiger Sprachforscher 1933-1945” (zflprojekte.de); Dir. of Am. Sch. 8th ed. 3; obituary on Berkeley Univ. homepage; Wikipedia.
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