SCHLEICHER, August

SCHLEICHER, August. Meiningen/Thüringen 1821 — Jena 6.12.1868. German Indologist and IE Scholar. Professor in Prague and Jena. Son of a physician, Johann Gottlieb S., and Henriette Heym. After school in Coburg studied 1840-41theology at Leipzig, then from 1841 philosophy and languages at Tübingen (Persian and Sanskrit under Ewald, also Semitics) and from 1843 at Bonn (Lassen, now also Classics under Ritschl and German). Ph.D. 1846 Bonn. PD 1846 Bonn. In 1848 participated in revolutionary movement in Bonn, then 1848-49 in Paris, Vienna and Prague. In 1850-57 Professor (ao., 1853 ord. für Deutsche, vergl. Sprachwissenschaft und Sanskrit) at German University of Prague, but soon had difficulties because of his dislike of reactionary Austria; in the end dismissed from his chair. From 1857 apl. Professor der Sprachwissenschaft und altdeutschen Philologie at Jena. From 1858 corresponding member of Russian Academy. Already as student he had health problems and died in the age of 47 of pulmonary inflammation.Married 1854 Fanny Strasburger (d. 1911), four sons and one daughter.

Schleicher was one of the most important pioneers of the comparative linguistics in the period between Bopp and the Neo-Grammarians, but also a Balto-Slavist and Sanskrit Scholar. He was the first to reconstruct IE Ursprache and founder of the Stammbaumtheorie. J. Schmidt praises his carefuly and detailed special studies, but adds that his language philosophy remained Hegelian. For him (comparative) linguistics was kind of natural science (Naturwissenschaft). He was a radical republican, Hegelian and Darwinist living in the middle of scholarly and political controversies. He had learned Czech in Bonn and in Prague was soon capable of translating Sanskrit texts into it. Later he also knew Russian and became one of the pioneers of Lithuanian studies (linguistic field-work in Lithuania in 1852 and 1857). In his leisure he was an eager gardener and wrote much on it in Darwinian spirit. Among his students were Leskien and Vaníček.

Publications: Diss. Meletematon Varronianum specimen. 1. 36 p.Bonnae 1846.

Zur vergleichenden Sprachengeschichte. Bonn 1848; Die Sprachen Europas in systematischer Übersicht. Bonn 1850, French tr. 1852; Die Formenlehre der kirchenslawischen Sprache. Bonn 1852.

– “Ueber die Leistungen des Hrn. Dr. Roth auf dem Gebiete der ältesten Sanskrit-Literatur”, ZKM 7, 1850, 83-90; a great number of brief notes on IE, also on Sanskrit, in KZ, KB, etc.

Czech translations from the Mahābhārata: “Potopá”, Časopis Českého Museum 25, 1851, 1, 117-120 (deluge); “Nal a Damajantí”, Ibid. 25, 1851, 1-4 and separately, 70 p. Prague 1852; also a selection from the Śṛṅgāratilaka, “Erotické epigrammy”, Lumír. Belletristický týdenník 1, 1851, 169.

Compendium der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen. 1-2. Weimar 1861-62, 4th ed. 1876, English 1874-77, Italian 1869.

– “Lithuanica”, SWA 11, 1853, 76-156; Handbuch der litauischen Sprache. 1. Litauische Grammatik. Prague 1856, 2. Litauisches Lesebuch und Glossar. Weimar 1857; Litauische Märchen, Sprichworte, Rätsel und Lieder. Weimar 1857; Christian Donaleitis litauische Dichtungen, erste vollständige Ausgabe mit Glossar. St.Petersburg 1865.

Volkstümliches aus Sonneberg im Meininger Oberlande. Weimar 1858, 2nd ed. 1894; Die deutsche Sprache. Stuttgart 1860, 2nd ed. 1869, 5th 1888.

Die Darwinische Theorie und die Sprachwissenschaft. 29 p. Weimar 1863, 3rd ed. 1873, English 1869, French 1868, Russian 1864, Hungarian 1878; “Die Untersuchung von Nomen und Verbum in lautlichen Form”, ASGW 4:5, 1865, 497-587.

Kratkij očerk doistoričeskojžizni severovostočnogo otdela indogermanskih jazykov. 64 p. Zap. Imp. Akad. 8:2, 1864; Temy imen čislitel’nyh (količestvennyh i porjadočnyh) v litvo-slavjanskom i nemeckom jazykah. 69 p. Zap.Imp. Akad. 10:2, 1866.

With Ebel, Leskien & J. Schmidt: Indogermanische Chrestomathie. 6+378 p. Weimar 1869.

Edited by A.Leskien: Laut- und Formenlehre der polabischen Sprache. 19+353 p. St.P. 1871.

Sources: *G. Bense, N.D.B. 23, 2007, 50; *J. Dietze, A.S. als Slawist. Sein Leben und sein Werk in der Sicht der Indogermanistik. B. 1966; R. Fischer, “A.S. zur Erinnerung”, SSAW 107:5, Leipzig 1962 (with photo and bibliography by J. Dietze); *K. Koerner, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 835; *S. Lefmann, A.S. Eine Skizze. Leipzig 1870; *J. Schmidt, KZ 18, 1869, 315-320; *J. Schmidt, A.D.B. 31, 1890, 402-416 (republ. in Sebeok 1966, 374-395); Stache-Weiske 2017, 256f.; Windisch 423; Kdo byl kdo – čeští a slovenští orientalisté; Wikipedia with portrait (another in German version); photo in Pedersen 1959, 266.

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