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in the broad sense, the study of the languages, literature, history, ethnography, religion, law, economy, and customs of the ancient Germanic peoples. The term is most commonly used to mean the study of the ancient and modern Germanic languages and dialects. Germanic philology is concerned with the preparation of standard, theoretical, and historical grammars and the compilation of explanatory, historical, etymological, and dialectal dictionaries of the Germanic languages, as well as with the publication and philological examination of monuments of ancient Germanic literature.
The first Germanic philologist was the Dutchman F. Junius (1589-1677). The founders of scientific Germanic philology were the Dane R. Rask (1787-1832) and the German J. Grimm (1785-1863). However, the collection of materials and description of Germanic languages had actually begun in the period of the Renaissance and the Reformation as a result of the development of national movements. The struggle to replace Latin with the native languages for teaching purposes in the schools and universities led in the 15th to 17th centuries to the publication in many countries of numerous grammars of individual Germanic languages and to increased interest in the collecting of old manuscripts. In his work on Icelandic (1818), Rask showed the common character of the Germanic languages and established their phonetic relationships with other Indo-European languages. J. Grimm published the first comparative grammars of the Germanic languages—German Grammar (1819-37) and History of the German Language (1848). In 1854, J. and W. Grimm began the publication of the multivolume historical German Dictionary, which was completed in 1961 under the editorship of T. Frings. The Germanic philologist K. Lachmann (1793-1851) published old Germanic texts.
In the 19th century Germanic philology was characterized by empiricism and a refusal to treat general linguistic problems, which was typical of the neogrammarians. Modern Germanic philology, particularly in the Soviet Union, is characterized by the use of the latest methods and the examination of general problems. Until World War I, Germany was the center of studies in Germanic philology. After World War II the discipline was intensively developed in the USSR, the German Democratic Republic, the United States, and Japan. The head of Soviet Germanic philology was Academician V. M. Zhirmunskii, who made a great contribution to its development. A general work on Germanic philology, Comparative Grammar of the Germanic Languages (vols. 1-4), edited by M. M. Gukhman, V. M. Zhirmunskii, E. A. Makaev, and V. N. Iartseva, was published in 1962-66.
REFERENCESZhirmunskii, V. M. Vvedenie v sravnitel’no-istoricheskuiu gram-matiku germanskikh iazykov. Moscow-Leningrad, 1963.
Paul, H. “Geschichte der germanischen Philologie.” In Grundriss der germanischen Philologie, vol. 1, 2nd ed. Strassburg, 1901.
Streitberg, W., and V. Michels. Germanisch, fasc. 1. Berlin-Leipzig, 1927. (Grundriss der indogermanischen Sprach- und Altertumskunde. Part 2: Die Erforschung der indogermanischen Sprachen, vol. 2.)
Dünninger, J. “Geschichte der deutschen Philologie.” In Deutsche Philologie im Aufriss, 2nd ed., vol. 1. Edited by W. Stammler. Berlin, 1956.
Germanistik. Tübingen, 1960-67.
Demetz,P. “150 Jahre Germanistik.” Neues Forum, 1967, no. 158.
G. S. SHCHUR