SCHMITT, Alfred. Rixdorf (Berlin) 1.4.1888 — Munich 1.1.1976. German IE Linguist. Born in a Herrnhutian (Moravian) family, educated in Niesky and Liegnitz, matriculated 1907. Studied theology at Moravian Seminary in Gnadenfeld and became teacher at Niesky. Served in WW I and was war prisoner in France. In 1919 began studies of classics, Germanistics and Romanistics at Rostock, soon switched to comparative linguistics (under Herbig, then Güntert). Ph.D. 1922 Rostock. In 1928-35 Lektor at Rostock (from 1930 also PD), in 1935-41 ao. Professor at Erlangen, in 1941-56 ord. Professor at Münster. In 1939-45 in the army, taught only from 1946. Emeritus 1956, now moved to Munich.
His special interests included phonetics, general linguistics and history of writing. Among his students were Peter Hartmann and R. Harweg.
Publications: Studies on accent in the 1920s; “Die Schallgebärden der Sprache”, W & S 17, 1936, 57-98.
– Die Alaska-Schrift und ihre schriftgeschichtliche Bedeutung. 200 p. Marburg 1951; Die Bamum-Schrift. 1-3. Wb. 1963; ed. by Cl. Haebler, Entstehung und Entwicklung von Schriften. Köln – Wien 1980.
Sources: *Cl. Haebler, Vorwort of the posthumous 1980 book; German Wikipedia.
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