Frings, Theodor

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Frings, Theodor


Born July 23, 1886, in Dülken; died June 6, 1968, in Leipzig. German linguist. Academician of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin (1946). Academician of the Saxon Academy of Sciences at Leipzig (1930); president from 1948 to 1965.

Frings studied at the universities of Marburg and Leipzig. He became a professor at the University of Bonn in 1917 and at the University of Leipzig in 1927. Beginning in 1952 he was director of the Institute for German Language and Literature in Berlin.

Frings’ chief works dealt with the dialectology of the German language. Frings and his followers conducted comprehensive research that established the historical boundaries within which individual dialects were spoken; they based their conclusions on the historical, dialectological, and folkloric maps that they made. Like the Swiss linguist J. Gilliéron, Frings used the methodology of linguistic geography.

Frings also conducted research on the development of the German national literary language and published works on medieval German literature. He supervised the completion (1961) of the publication of the German Dictionary that had been begun by the Grimm brothers. Beginning in 1952, Frings compiled and published the Dictionary of Old High German in collaboration with E. Karg-Gasterstädt. Frings was a member of many foreign academies and scholarly societies.


Sprache und Geschichte, vols. 1–3. Halle, 1956.
Grundlegung einer Geschichte der deutschen Sprache, 3rd ed. Halle, 1957.
Germania romana, 2nd ed. Halle, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Nemetskaia dialektografiia: Sb. statei. Moscow, 1955.


Zhirmunskii, V. M. “Pamiati Teodora Fringsa (1886–1968).” Izv. AN SSSR: Seriia literatury i iazyka, 1968, vol. 27, issue 6.
Draye, H. “Theodor Frings (1886–1968).” Onoma, 1970, vol. 15, no. 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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