April 17, 1915–June 16, 2003


HENRY M. HOENIGSWALD, professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania, died on June 16, 2003, in Haverford, Pennsylvania. Henry began his career as a classicist. He contributed articles on Etruscan and Latin and important studies in Greek phonology, morphology, and metrics, the last of which he completed just before his death. He was, in addition, a well-versed Indo-Europeanist and contributed to Indo-Iranian linguistics; further, during the Second World War, he was engaged in modern Indo-Aryan and produced a handbook of Hindustani. Henry’s greatest contributions to linguistics, however, are of a more general theoretical nature. He was a major figure in seeking to understand and clarify the principles that underlie great work in historical-comparative linguistics, especially as practiced by the nineteenth-century neogrammarians and their successors. Henry contributed fundamental studies in these areas, including an early article on sound change and its relation to linguistic structure, a basic study of the procedures followed in phonological reconstruction, an equally fundamental study of internal reconstruction, and a definitive monograph on language change and linguistic reconstruction.

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