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Encyclopedia > August Schleicher
August Schleicher
August Schleicher

August Schleicher (February 19, 1821 - December 6, 1868) was a German linguist. His great work was A Compendium of the Comparative Grammar of the Indo-European Languages, in which he attempted to reconstruct the Proto-Indo-European language. August Schleicher (upload from German wikipedia) This image has been released into the public domain by the copyright holder, its copyright has expired, or it is ineligible for copyright. ... February 19 is the 50th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1821 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... December 6 is the 340th day (341st on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1868 was a leap year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... Linguistics is the scientific study of human language, and someone who engages in this study is called a linguist. ... Grammar is the discovery, enunciation, and study of rules governing the use of language. ... The Indo-European languages include some 443 (SIL estimate) languages and dialects, including most of the major language families of Europe, as well as many languages of Southwest and South Asia, which belong to a single superfamily. ... The Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages. ...

August Schleicher was born in Meiningen (Duchy Saxe-Meiningen, southwest of Weimar in the Thuringian Forest). He began his career studying theology and Indo-European, especially Slavic languages. Influenced by Hegel, he formed the theory that a language is an organism, with periods of development, maturity, and decline. In 1850 Schleicher completed a monograph systematically describing the languages of Europe, Die Sprachen Europas in systematischer Übersicht (The languages of Europe in systematic perspective). He explicitly represented languages as perfectly natural organisms that could most conveniently be described using terms drawn from biology e.g., genus, species, and variety. Schleicher claimed that he himself had been convinced of the natural descent and competition of languages before he had read Darwin’s Origin of Species. He invented a system of language classification that resembled a botanical taxonomy, tracing groups of related languages and arranging them in a genealogical tree. His model, the Stammbaumtheorie (family-tree theory), was a major development in the study of Indo-European languages. To show how Indo-European might have looked he created a short tale, Schleicher's fable, to exemplify both words and known culture. He first introduced a graphic representation of a Stammbaum in articles published in 1853. By the time of the publication of his Deutsche Sprache (German language) (1860) he had begun to use trees to illustrate language descent. Schleicher is commonly recognized as the first linguist to portray language development using the figure of a tree. For the most part, however, Darwin’s ideas simply overlaid the fundamental features of Schleicher’s prior evolutionary project, which derived from the work of those individuals immersed in German romanticism and idealism especially Humboldt and Hegel. August Schleicher died from tuberculosis at age of 47 in Jena (Duchy Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Thuringia). Meiningen is a town in Germany - located in the Southern part of the state Thuringia in the district of Schmalkalden-Meiningen. ... A duchy is a territory, fief, or domain ruled by a duke or duchess. ... The Duchy of Saxe-Meiningen was one of the Saxon Duchies held by the Ernestine line of the Wettin Dynasty. ... See also Weimar Republic. ... The Thuringian Forest (Thüringer Wald in German language) running northwest to southeast, forms a continuous stretch of rounded hills in the German state of Thuringia. ... The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages, have speakers in most of Eastern Europe, in much of the Balkans, in parts of Central Europe, and in the northern part of Asia. ... Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel The new HegelWiki Hegel by HyperText, reference archive on Marxists. ... In biology and ecology, an organism (in Greek organon = instrument) is a complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function as a more or less stable whole and have properties of life. ... 1850 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Most of the many indigenous languages of Europe belong to the Indo-European language family. ... Main articles: Life The most salient example of biological universality is that all living things share a common carbon-based biochemistry and in particular pass on their characteristics via genetic material, which is based on nucleic acids such as DNA and which uses a common genetic code with only minor... In biology, a genus (plural genera) is a grouping in the classification of living organisms having one or more related and morphologically similar species. ... In biology, a species is the basic unit of biodiversity. ... A variety is a recognised division of a species in botany, next below the rank of subspecies; in zoology, species are only divided into subspecies and never into varieties. ... In his lifetime Charles Darwin gained international fame as a controversial and influential scientist. ... Botany is the scientific study of plant life. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families (families hereforth). ... Schleichers fable, also called, Schleichers tale, is a short fable used to exemplify Proto-Indo-European. ... The evolutionary tree of living things is currently supposed to run something along the lines of that listed below. ... 1853 was a common year starting on Saturday (see link for calendar). ... German (called Deutsch in German; in German the term germanisch is equivalent to English Germanic), is a member of the western group of Germanic languages and is one of the worlds major languages. ... 1860 is the leap year starting on Sunday. ... Language development is a process that starts early in human life where a person goes onto acquire language by learning it as it is spoken and by mimicry. ... Evolutionary linguistics is the scientific study of the origins and development of language. ... In the philosophy, art, and culture of German-speaking countries, German Romanticism was the dominant cultural movement of much of the nineteenth century. ... German idealism was a philosophical movement in Germany in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. ... Wilhelm von Humboldt Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand Freiherr von Humboldt (June 22, 1767 - April 8, 1835), government functionary, foreign diplomat, philosopher, founder of Humboldt Universität in Berlin, friend of Goethe and especially of Schiller, is especially remembered as a German linguist who introduced a knowledge of the Basque... Tuberculous lungs show up on an X-ray image Tuberculosis is an infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (miliary TB), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ... Map of Germany showing Jena Jena is a town in central Germany on the River Saale. ... The Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach (Herzogtum von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach) was created in 1809 by the merger of the Duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach, which had been in personal union since 1741, when the Saxe-Eisenach line had died out. ... The Free State of Thuringia (German Freistaat Thüringen) lies in central Germany and is among the smaller of the countrys sixteen Bundesländer (federal states), with an area of 16,200 sq. ...


  • Sprachvergleichende Untersuchungen. / Zur vergleichenden Sprachgeschichte. (2 vols.) Bonn, H. B. Koenig (1848)
  • Linguistische Untersuchungen. Part 2: Die Sprachen Europas in systematischer Uebersicht. Bonn, H. B. Koenig (1850); new ed. by Konrad Koerner, Amsterdam, John Benjamins (1982)
  • Formenlehre der kirchenslavischen Sprache. (1852)
  • Die ersten Spaltungen des indogermanischen Urvolkes. Allgemeine Zeitung fuer Wissenschaft und Literatur (August 1853)
  • Handbuch der litauischen Sprache. (1st scientific compendium of Lithuanian language) (2 vols.) Weimar, H. Boehlau (1856/57)
  • Litauische Maerchen, Sprichworte, Raetsel und Lieder. Weimar, H. Boehlau (1857)
  • Volkstuemliches aus Sonneberg im Meininger Oberlande - Lautlehre der Sonneberger Mundart. Weimar, H. Boehlau (1858)
  • Kurzer Abriss der Geschichte der italienischen Sprachen. Rheinisches Museum fuer Philologie 14.329-46. (1859)
  • Die Deutsche Sprache. Stuttgart, J. G. Cotta (1860); new ed. by Johannes Schmidt, Stuttgart, J. G. Cotta (1888)
  • Compendium der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen. (Kurzer Abriss der indogermanischen Ursprache, des Altindischen, Altiranischen, Altgriechischen, Altitalischen, Altkeltischen, Altslawischen, Litauischen und Altdeutschen.) (2 vols.) Weimar, H. Boehlau (1861/62); reprinted by Minerva GmbH, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, ISBN 3810210714
  • Die Darwinsche Theorie und die Sprachwissenschaft - offenes Sendschreiben an Herrn Dr. Ernst Haeckel. Weimar, H. Boehlau (1863)
  • Die Bedeutung der Sprache für die Naturgeschichte des Menschen. Weimar, H. Boehlau (1865)
  • Darwinism Tested by the Science of Language. (Transl. by Alexander V. W. Bikkers) London, J. C. Hotten (1869)
  • Laut- und Formenlehre der polabischen Sprache. reprinted by Saendig Reprint Verlag H. R. Wohlwend, ISBN 325301908X
  • Sprachvergleichende Untersuchungen. reprinted by Minerva GmbH, Wissenschaftlicher Verlag, ISBN 3810210722
  • Die Formenlehre der kirchenslavischen Sprache erklaerend und vergleichend dargestellt. Reprint by H. Buske Verlag, Hamburg (1998), ISBN 387118540X

Lithuanian is the official language of Lithuania, spoken by about 4 million native speakers (Lithuanians). ... Johannes Schmidt (July 29, 1843 - July 4, 1901) was a German linguist. ... Ernst Haeckel Ernst Heinrich Philipp August Haeckel (February 16, 1834 — August 8, 1919), also written von Haeckel, was a German biologist and philosopher who popularized Charles Darwins work in Germany. ...

Literature references

  • Salomon Lefmann: August Schleicher. Skizze. Leipzig (1870)
  • Joachim Dietze: August Schleicher als Slawist. Sein Leben und Werk in der Sicht der Indogermanistik. Berlin, Akademie Verlag (1966)
  • Konrad Körner: Linguistics and evolution theory (Three essays by August Schleicher, Ernst Haeckel and Wilhelm Bleek). Amsterdam-Philadelphia, John Benjamins Publishing Company (1983)
  • Liba Taub: Evolutionary Ideas and "Empirical" Methods: The Analogy Between Language and Species in the Works of Lyell and Schleicher. British Journal for the History of Science 26, S. 171-193 (1993)
  • Theodeor Syllaba: August Schleicher und Böhmen. Prague, Karolinum (1995). ISBN 80-7060942-X

Wilhelm Heinrich Immanuel Bleek (March 8, 1827 - August 17, 1875) was a German linguist. ... Charles Lyell Sir Charles Lyell (November 14, 1797 – February 22, 1875), British lawyer, geologist, and popularizer of uniformitarianism. ...

External links

  • August Schleicher (University of Texas)
  • The Linguistic Creation of Man: Charles Darwin, August Schleicher, Ernst Haeckel, and the Missing Link in Nineteenth-Century Evolutionary Theory (by Robert J. Richards)
  • Say something in Proto-Indo-European (by Geoffrey Sampson)
  • Sinhala, 6'000 years ago (by Asiff Hussein)

  Results from FactBites:
August Schleicher - LoveToKnow 1911 (374 words)
AUGUST SCHLEICHER (1821-1868), German philologist, was born at Meiningen on the 19th of February 1821, the son of a medical practitioner.
In the autumn of 1840 he entered the university of Leipzig as a student of theology, but exchanged Leipzig in the spring of 1841 for Tubingen.
In 1857 he became professor of philology at Jena, where he lived and worked until his death on the 6th of December 1868.
  More results at FactBites »



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