Uhlenbeck, Christianus Cornelius

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Uhlenbeck, Christianus Cornelius


Born Sept. 18, 1866, in Voorburg, the Netherlands; died Aug. 12,1951, in Lugano, Switzerland. Dutch linguist.

Uhlenbeck graduated from the University of Leiden in 1888. In 1892 he was named to the chair of Sanskrit and comparative philology at the University of Amsterdam, and from 1899 to 1926 he held the chair of Germanic languages at the University of Leiden. Uhlenbeck specialized in Indo-European, Basque, and American Indian languages and devoted his attention to the problem of the genetic relationship between the Eskimo-Aleut languages and Indo-European and other Old World languages; he also studied the genetic relationships of the Basque language.

Uhlenbeck compiled Old Indie and Gothic etymological dictionaries. He advanced hypotheses on the “hybridization” of the Indo-European grammatical structure and on the presence of an ergative construction in Proto-Indo-European. Uhlenbeck was a member of several academies and scholarly societies.


In Russian translation:
Ergativnaia konstruktsiiapredlozheniia. Moscow, 1950.


De Josselin de Jong, J. P. B. “In memoriam Christianus Cornelius Uhlenbeck.” Lingua, 1953, vol. 3, no. 3. (Contains bibliography.)


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