Hugo Schuchardt

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Schuchardt, Hugo


Born Feb. 4,1842, in Gotha; died Apr. 21,1927, in Graz. German and Austrian linguist.

Schuchardt studied at the universities of Jena and Berlin; he was a student of F. Diez’ and A. Schleicher’s. He became a professor in Halle in 1873 and was a professor in Graz from 1876 to 1900.

Schuchardt’s principal works deal with Romance philology and general linguistics. He studied Vulgar Latin, the Romance languages, and other Indo-European languages, as well as Basque, the Caucasian languages, the Hamito-Semitic languages, and Hungarian. Schuchardt propounded ideas on the mixing of languages, on ergative sentence constructions in several languages, and on the interaction of lexicon and grammar. He criticized the neogrammarians’ interpretation of the laws of sound changes and Schleicher’s genealogical classification of the Indo-European languages. A representative of the Wörter und Sachen trend, he believed that words should be studied in relation to the history of extralinguistic realia. Schuchardt’s views influenced several foreign schools of philology.


Der Vokalismus der Vulgärlateins, vols. 1–3. Leipzig, 1866–68.
Uber die Lautgesetze. Berlin, 1885.
Ein Vademecum der allgemeinen Sprachwissenschaft, 2nd ed. Halle, 1928.
In Russian translation:
Izbr. stat’i po iazykoznaniiu. Moscow, 1950.


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He corresponded with scholars such as John Morris Jones, Egerton Phillimore, Whitley Stokes, Hugo Schuchardt and D Silvan Evans, and also with many nonacademics in his search for detailed evidence about field names, local traditions and ogam inscriptions.
In 1914, Hugo Schuchardt noted similarities with respect to these verb constructions between Ewe on the one hand, and Suriname Creole on the other.
This paper consists of two parts, my introduction and the translation of the nineteenth-century Hugo Schuchardt Manuscript, 'Zum Indoportugiesischen von Ceylon' on Sri Lanka Portuguese Creole.
Hugo Schuchardt (1842-1927), the undisputed father of pidgin and creole linguistics, was a Romance linguist.
1) I am grateful to the University of Graz, Austria, for granting me permission to work on the Hugo Schuchardt manuscript.