Rudolf Thurneysen

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Thurneysen, Rudolf


Born Mar. 14, 1857, in Basel; died Aug. 9, 1940, in Bonn. German philologist; specialist in Celtic and other Indo-European languages.

Thurneysen studied at the universities of Basel and Jena. He was a professor of comparative grammar at the universities of Jena and Freiburg beginning in 1887 and at the University of Bonn from 1913 to 1925. In 1925 he received an honorary doctorate from the National University of Ireland in Dublin.

Thurneysen began his study of Celtic philology in 1883. His grammar of Old Irish is the most valuable work on the language. He was the first to subject Old Irish legal texts to scholarly analysis, thus founding the field of Irish studies. Thurneysen wrote works on Latin and Gothic as well as on Italic and other Indo-European languages. He was editor in chief of the journal Zeitschrift für keltische Philologie from 1899 to 1940.


Die irische Heldenund Königsage. Halle, 1921.
Studies in Early Irish Law. Dublin, 1936.
A Grammar of Old Irish, vols. 1–2. Dublin, 1946–49.


Vendryes, J. “R. Thurneysen.” Etudes celtiques, 1950–51, vol. 5, fase. 2, pp. 401–03.
Heiermeier, A. Bibliographie der wissenschaftlichen Veröffentlichungen R. Thurneysens. Halle, 1942.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
I'r ty hwn y daeth yr Athro Bjorkman o Sweden, yr Athro Ostoff o Heidelburg, Dr van Hamel o'r Iseldiroedd, Heinrich Zimmer o Ferlin, Vendreys o'r Sorbonne, Rudolf Thurneysen o Freiburg - y cyfan efo diddordeb yn y Gymraeg.
Moreover, Rudolf Thurneysen in his seminal work, A Grammar of Old Irish (1980; first printed in English in 1946), gives a thorough description of word formation in Old Irish.
Of the twenty lines identified by Rudolf Thurneysen which can be attributed to Colman mac Leneni, the following four-line fragment of religious verse refers to 'inspired sleep' which results in a poem.
2 Rudolf Thurneysen, 'Colman mac Leneni und Senchan Torpeist', Zeitschrift fur celtische Philologie, xix (1933), 193-209.
Recent Oxford lexicography echoes this view.(11) OED also states that Old Norse gaflak, gaflok |javelin' probably derives from English; that Rudolf Thurneysen regarded Old French gavelot (> Middle High German gabilot), javelot, Italian giavelotto as of Celtic origin; but that the links between English, Celtic, and Romance forms of the word are unclear.
(3) Rudolf Thurneysen, A Grammar of Old Irish (Dublin, 1946), 6; Joseph Vendryes, Lexique etymologique de l'irlandais ancien: Lettres T-U (Paris, 1978), T-151.