Hugo Schuchardt

Hugo Schuchardt

Hugo Ernst Mario Schuchardt (4 February 1842, Gotha (Thüringen) – 21 april 1927, Graz (Styria) was an eminent linguist, best-known for his work in the Romance languages, the Basque language, and in mixed languages, including pidgins, creoles, and the Lingua franca of the Mediterranean.

In Germany

Schuchardt grew up in Gotha. From 1859–1864, he studied in Jena and Bonn with many important linguists of the time, notably August Schleicher and Kuno Fischer in Jena, as well as Friedrich Ritschl and Otto Jahn in Bonn. In 1864, Schuchardt earned a doctorate with a dissertation entitled "De sermonis Romani plebei vocalibus" 'On the vowels of vulgar Latin' which in 1866-1868 was published in a three volume German language edition, "Der Vokalismus des Vulgärlateins". In 1870, Schuchardt was promoted to professor ('habilitation') at the University of Leipzig, and in 1873, Schuchardt became professor of Romance Philology at the University of Halle which was then a stronghold of the neogrammarians. During this time, Schuchardt primarily worked on traditional topics in Romance philology with a strong historic orientation, but also developed an interest in language contact and language mixing (as found in mixed languages and creole languages] .

Moving to Graz, Austria

In 1876, Schuchardt became chair for Romance Philology at the University of Graz, with the help of Johannes Schmidt. He did field work in Wales (1875) and Spain (1879) where he collected material for his Celtic and Basque/Romance research. Schuchardt became interested in two new fields, creole and Basque linguistics, thereby becoming a respected forefather of both linguistic subdisciplines. He is also the first linguist to have promulgated seriously the idea that creole languages are in no way inferior to other languages. With his 1888 publication "Auf Anlass des Volapüks" he promoted the creation of a new auxiliary "world language" for all nations. In the same period (1885), he published an influential critique of the methods of the neogrammarians with the title "Über die Lautgesetze. Gegen die Junggrammatiker".

Schuchardt may be most eminent as a vascologist. In 1887, L.L. Bonaparte arranged Schuchardt's journey to the village of Sara (Labourd, Basses Pyrénées) where he did field work and seems to have learned the Basque language. Following this journey, he published numerous (>100!) works on Basque and Romano-Basque, but he never returned to the Basque Country. In various publications, Schuchardt discussed possible relationships of Basque with other language families—today Basque is known as a language isolate. Schuchardt firmly sided with the outdated viewpoint of the Vasco-Iberian hypothesis, which stands in stark contrast to his earlier open-mindedness.

Similarly, in the then-current discussion on ergativity, Schuchardt firmly defended the idea of the ergative construction as an obligatorily passive clause (as opposed to a similarly questionable theory of the ergative construction being a nominalized clause); with this viewpoint, he specifically opposed Nikolaus Finck in Vienna with whom he had a scientific dispute in a succession of articles ("e.g.", N. Finck (1907), "Der angeblich passivische Charakter des transitiven Verbs", "Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung" 41:209-282).

Late period

Although Schuchardt was invited to professorships in Budapest and Leipzig (around 1890), he refused to leave Graz. In 1900, however, Schuchardt retired early from his chair. Being then free from his teaching duties, he undertook extended trips to Southern Italy, Egypt, and Scandinavia. He then built a huge villa in Graz (Johann Fux Gasse nr. 30) for himself and his huge library, and named it 'Villa Malvine', after his beloved mother (Malvine von Bridel-Brideri).

The last two decades of his life, he worked predominantly on Basque. Disappointed by the unjust peace after WWI, the Italian irredenzia and French nationalism ('chauvinism'), he was no longer interested in Romance research, partly even giving up contacts to colleagues from these countries. In an article ("Bekenntnisse und Erkenntnisse" 1919), he gives some oral history insights into his youth and historic events of that time as well as his viewpoint of the outcome of WWI.

chuchardt today

Hugo Schuchardt is one of the most eminent linguists of the Germanic tradition within Romance Philology. Today, of course, this is mainly of historiographic interest. For the Basque community, he is one of the most eminent foreign scholars, beside Wilhelm von Humboldt and only few others.

His huge library became part of the university library of Graz; his 'Villa Malvine' hosted the Romance philology department for a long time, but is today an administrative building of the university. Researchers in Graz have constantly worked on Schuchardt ever since, among them Michaela Wolf and the linguist Bernhard Hurch (himself being a bascologist with a strong interest in historiography of linguistics) who finally even managed to compile an online archive of the entire work of Schuchardt (see "Weblinks").

His most lasting contributions to modern linguistics, though, are the elaboration, with Johannes Schmidt, of the Wave Model of language change and his substantial work laying the foundations of modern creolistics.


*Bossong,Georg. 1984: "Wilhelm von Humboldt y Hugo Schuchardt: dos eminentes vascólogos alemanes." in: Arbor 467/468: 163-182.
*Meijer, Guus & Pieter Muysken. 1977: "On the beginnings of pidgin and creole studies: Schuchardt and Hesseling." In: Albert Valdman (ed.)"Pidgin and creole linguistics", 21-45. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
*Schuchardt, Hugo. 1928: "Hugo Schuchardt-Brevier: Ein Vademecum der allgemeinen Sprachwissenschaft". Ed. by Leo Spitzer, rev. 2nd ed. (1st ed., 1922). Halle/Saale: Niemeyer.
*Schuchardt, Hugo. 1979: "The ethnography of variation: Selected writings on pidgins and creoles". Edited and translated by T.L. Markey; Introduction by Derek Bickerton. Ann Arbor: Karoma.
*Vennemann, Theo & Terence H. Wilbur. 1972: "Schuchardt, the neogrammarians, and the transformational theory of phonological change." "Four essays by H. Schuchardt". Ed. by Th. Vennemann & T.H. Wilbur. Frankfurt/M. (= Ling. Forsch. 26).

External links

* [ Free electronic edition of the opera omnia (over 700 publications in both pdf and online), including translations, texts, necrologies, selected correspondences, materials, necrologies and online publications on Schuchardt]
* [ Full information and online edition of all works at the university of Graz (Austria)]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hugo Schuchardt — Hugo Ernst Mario Schuchardt (* Gotha, 4 de febrero 1842 ; †Graz, 21 de abril 1927) Lingüista comparativo especializado en lenguas románicas y criollas y en la lengua vasca. Contenido 1 Biografía 2 Hugo Schuchardt y España 3 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hugo Schuchardt — Hugo Ernst Mario Schuchardt (* 4. Februar 1842 in Gotha; † 21. April 1927 in Graz) war ein deutscher Romanist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Auszeichnungen 3 Werk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Schuchardt — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Bastian Schuchardt, deutscher Biologe Carl Schuchhardt (1859–1943), deutscher Prähistoriker Christian Schuchardt (* 1958), deutscher Professor für Marketing an der Hochschule Bremen Dietrich Schuchardt (*… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Schuchardt — Schuchardt, Hugo, namhafter Sprachforscher, geb. 4. Febr. 1842 in Gotha, studierte in Jena und Bonn, lebte dann einige Jahre in der französischen Schweiz und in Italien, habilitierte sich 1870 an der Universität Leipzig für romanische Philologie …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Schuchardt — Schuchardt, Hugo, Sprachforscher, geb. 4. Febr. 1842 zu Gotha, 1873 Prof. der roman. Philologie in Halle, 1876 1900 in Graz; schrieb: »Vokalismus des Bulgärlateins« (1866 68), »Kreolische Studien« (1 9, 1881 91), »Weltsprache und Weltsprachen«… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Schuchardt — Schuchardt, Hugo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Schuchardt — Schụchardt,   Hugo, Sprachwissenschaftler und Romanist, * Gotha 4. 2. 1842, ✝ Graz 21. 4. 1927; wurde 1873 Professor in Halle (Saale), 1876 in Graz. In Abgrenzung zur atomistisch mechanistischen Sprachauffassung der Junggrammatiker und in… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Schuchardt, Hugo — ► (1842 1927) Filólogo alemán. Autor de estudios sobre el vascuence y el beréber y sus relaciones con las lenguas románicas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Liste der Biografien/Schu — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Шухардт, Гуго — В Википедии есть статьи о других людях с такой фамилией, см. Шухардт. Гуго Эрнст Марио Шухардт, нем. Hugo Ernst Mario Schuchardt (4 февраля 1842, Гота  21 апреля 1927, Грац)  немецкий лингвист, специалист по лингвистической… …   Википедия

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