Wilhelm Scherer

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Wilhelm Scherer
BirthplaceSchönborn, Austrian Empire (present-day Göllersdorf, Lower Austria, Austria)

Scherer, Wilhelm


Born Apr. 26, 1841, in Schönborn, Austria; died Aug. 6,1886, in Berlin. German philologist.

Scherer graduated from the University of Vienna in 1864. He became a professor at Vienna in 1868, at the Kaiser Wilhelm University (University of Strasbourg) in 1872, and at the University of Berlin in 1877. The leader of a school of positivist literary scholars, he advocated renunciation of the traditions of idealist metaphysics. Scherer sought to apply the rigorous methods of science to the humanities and to introduce the historical descriptive method into comparative and genetic philology. His theory governed the development of Germanic philology in Germany for many years. Scherer also studied the history of the German language.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, parts 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1893. (Translated from German.)
Zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Berlin, 1868; 2nd ed., Berlin, 1878.
Deutsche Studien, vols. 1–3. Vienna, 1870–78.
Aus Goethes Frühzeit. Strasbourg-London, 1879.
Poetik. Berlin, 1888.


Schmidt, J. “Gedächtnisrede auf Wilhelm Scherer (1841–1886).” In the collection Portraits of Linguists: A Biographical Source Book for the History of Western Linguistics, 1746–1963, vol. 1. Bloomington-London, 1966.
References in periodicals archive ?
The palatalisation theory, which term can be used to cover both the mouillierung and epenthesis theories, was first formulated by two German scholars, Wilhelm Scherer (1868) and Eduard Sievers (1873).