HENRY M. HOENIGSWALD

April 17, 1915–June 16, 2003


BY GEORGE CARDONA


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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