Meinhof, Cari

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Meinhof, Cari


Born July 23, 1857, in Barzwitz, Pomerania; died Feb. 10, 1944, in Greifswald. German linguist and Africanist.

Meinhof was a professor at the Hamburg Colonial Institute and the University of Hamburg in 1909-36. He wrote a comparative historical phonology and grammar of the Bantu languages. He proposed a classification of the African languages (Hamitic, Sudanese, and languages originating through mixing, including Bantu), which was popular in 1910-30. Meinhof described many languages of East, South, and Equatorial Africa and studied the religion, poetry, and law of the African peoples. He was the founder (from 1910) and editor of the journal Zeitschrift fur Kolonialsprachen (now Afrika und Übersee).


Grundriss einer Lautlehre der Bantusprachen, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1910.
Grundziige einer vergleichenden Grammatik der Bantusprachen, 2nd ed. Hamburg, 1948.
Die Sprachen der Hamiten. Hamburg, 1912.
Der Koranadialekt des Hottentottischen. Berlin, 1930.
Die Entstehung flektierenden Sprachen. Berlin, 1936.


Doke, C.M. “The Growth of Comparative Bantu Philology.” In Portraits of Linguists, vol. 2. Bloomington, Ind.-London, 1966.


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