BLOCH, Jules

BLOCH, Jules. Paris 1.5.1880 — Sèvres (Seine-et-Oise) 9.11.1953. French Indologist and Linguist. Professor in Paris. Son of a Jewish merchant, Salomon Bloch and Caroline Bernheimer. After Lycée Charlemagne, studied in Paris (Fac. des lettres, etc.) under Lévi and Meillet (also Foucher and M. Mauss). Licencié ès lettres 1900, 1903 agrégé de grammaire, 1905 diplômes de l’É.P.H.É. & de l’É.L.O.V. In 1906-08 in India studying Marathi, on which he wrote his dissertation in 1914. In 1908-14 deputy of Finot at É.P.H.É. During the war 1914-18 he served in infantry and advanced to officer. In 1921-37 taught Urdu and Tamil at É.L.O.V., and in 1921-37 comparative linguistics at É.P.H.É. (as directeur d’études), 1920-26 Foucher’s deputy at Sorbonne. In 1937-51 Professor of Sanskrit at Collège de France (Lévi’s suc­cessor). During the German occupation he had to leave Paris because of his Jewish background, in 1941-44 taught at Lyon University. Retired in 1951. Married in 1916 with Yvonne Blum (1888-1967), three sons (one died) and one daughter.

Bloch was a many-sided and distinguished linguist, who wrote important general works, but was actually more interested in special questions. His dissertation on Marathi was a mile stone in the NIA linguistics, the first to apply modern phonetics on it. Its indexes formed the first comparative NIA dictionary. He also introduced the dialectological geography in India and did valuable work on comparative Dravidian. From dialectological standpoint he also studied on Old and Middle Indo-Aryan (Aśokan inscriptions etc.). He was always cautious and critical in his conclusions.

Publications: diss. I. La langue marathe. 248 p. P. 1914, publ. as La formation de la langue marathe. 432 p. B.É.H.É. 215. P. 1920, Marathi transl. by Paranjpe 1941, English Delhi 1970.

diss. II. Un manuel du scribe cachemirien au XVIIe siècle. Le Lokaprakaça attribué à Kṣemendra. 10+21+16+21 p. P. 1914.

a great number of articles and reviews: BEFEO, BSL, BSOAS, JA, JGLS, MSL.

– “La phrase nominale en sanskrit”, MSL 14, 1906, 27-96; “Some Problems of Indo-Aryan Philology”, BSOS 5:4, 1930, 719-756.

– “Castes et dialectes en tamoul”, MSL 16, 1910, 1-30; “Sanskrit et Dravidien”, BSL 25, 1925, 1-21.

L’indo-aryen de Veda aux temps modernes. 335 p. P. 1934, English transl. by A. Master rev. by the author. Indo-Aryan from the Vedas to modern times. 345 p. P. 1965.

Structure grammaticale des langues dravidiennes. 16+101 p. P.M.G.:B. d’Ét. 56. P. 1946, English transl. by R. G. Harshe. 127 p. Poona 1954.

– “Prefixes et suffixes en andaman”, BSL 45, 1949, 1-46.

with L. Renou & J. Filliozat: Canon bouddhique pāli. 1. 2×97 p. P. 1949 (text & transl. of 5 suttas of the DN).

Inscriptions d’Asoka. 219 p. Coll. Ém. Senart. P. 1950.

Les tsiganes. 120 p. Que sais-je? P. 1953.

Application de la cartographie à l’histoire de l’indo-aryen. 79 p. 20 maps. P. 1963.

C. Caillat (ed.): Recueil d’articles de Jules Bloch, 1906–1955. 39+557 p. PICI 52. P. 1985.

Sources: *N. Balbir, Lex. gramm. 1996, 108f.; C. Charle & E. Telkes, Les professeurs du Collège de France 1901-1939. 1988; *S. K. Chatterji, IL 14, 1954, 148ff.; *J. Filliozat, BEFEO 47, 1955, 353-363 with photo and a bibliography by P. Meile, 364-368; P. Meile, BSL 50, 1954, 1-11 (with a bibliography); Renou, JA 242, 1954, 411-414; ABORI 35, 1954 [1955], 290; briefly in Wikipedia.


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