Sommerfelt, Alf

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sommerfelt, Alf


Born Nov. 23, 1892, in Trondheim; died Oct. 12, 1965, near Oslo. Norwegian linguist. Member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters from 1922.

Sommerfelt, who studied at the universities of Oslo, Dublin, and Paris, was a professor at the University of Oslo from 1931 to 1962. His principal works are in Celtic studies (Breton, Irish, and Welsh dialects) and Indo-European linguistics. In Language and Society (1938), Sommerfelt attempted to trace the influence of social structure on language by using subjectively interpreted material taken from Aranda (Aranta), an Australian language. He helped compile a multivolume dictionary of Norwegian Riksmâl. Sommerfelt was one of the founders of UNESCO and secretary-general of the Permanent International Committee of Linguists from 1946 to 1964.


The Dialect of Ton, Co. Donegal. Christiania, 1921.
Studies in Cyfeiliog Welsh. Oslo, 1925.
Norsk Riksmålsordbok, vols. 1–2. Oslo, 1930–37. (In collaboration with T. Knudsen.)
Diachronic and Synchronic Aspects of Language. The Hague, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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