Wilhelm Scherer

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Wilhelm Scherer
BirthplaceSchönborn, Austrian Empire (present-day Göllersdorf, Lower Austria, Austria)
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Scherer, Wilhelm


Born Apr. 26, 1841, in Schönborn, Austria; died Aug. 6,1886, in Berlin. German philologist.

Scherer graduated from the University of Vienna in 1864. He became a professor at Vienna in 1868, at the Kaiser Wilhelm University (University of Strasbourg) in 1872, and at the University of Berlin in 1877. The leader of a school of positivist literary scholars, he advocated renunciation of the traditions of idealist metaphysics. Scherer sought to apply the rigorous methods of science to the humanities and to introduce the historical descriptive method into comparative and genetic philology. His theory governed the development of Germanic philology in Germany for many years. Scherer also studied the history of the German language.


Istoriia nemetskoi literatury, parts 1–2. St. Petersburg, 1893. (Translated from German.)
Zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache. Berlin, 1868; 2nd ed., Berlin, 1878.
Deutsche Studien, vols. 1–3. Vienna, 1870–78.
Aus Goethes Frühzeit. Strasbourg-London, 1879.
Poetik. Berlin, 1888.


Schmidt, J. “Gedächtnisrede auf Wilhelm Scherer (1841–1886).” In the collection Portraits of Linguists: A Biographical Source Book for the History of Western Linguistics, 1746–1963, vol. 1. Bloomington-London, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus the discourse of the 'struggle for existence' was rapidly transferred from biology to politics to explain Austria's defeat in 1866 by a Prussia which shortly afterwards became the centre of a united Imperial Germany; and the Germanist Wilhelm Scherer, who was professor at Vienna from 1869 to 1873, was inspired by Darwin in trying to transform philology into a causal and developmen tal study of national literature.
The first identifies the main general trends in Grillparzer studies since the pioneering work of Emil Kuh and Wilhelm Scherer in the 1870s, while the concluding one considers Grillparzer's relevance in the bicentenary year 1991 and the state of contemporary research on him.
The palatalisation theory, which term can be used to cover both the mouillierung and epenthesis theories, was first formulated by two German scholars, Wilhelm Scherer (1868) and Eduard Sievers (1873).