Volume 34, No. 4 - Winter 1988
Editor of this issue: Antanas Klimas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1988 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


The Pennsylvania State University

A one-hundredth birthday for a human being is indeed a remarkable event and even more remarkable is the appearance of the one-hundredth volume of a scientific journal. One hundred volumes of the Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Sprachforschung make it the largest and most important repository of studies on Indo-European linguistics available anywhere in the world. In fact probably the most famous linguistic article of all times, Karl Verner's Eine Ausnahme der I. Lautverschiebung 'An Exception to the First Sound Shift' (1876, Vol. 23, pp. 97-130) appeared in this journal. This article explains, for example, why we now pronounce the English word father with the voiced th-sound of this rather than with the voiceless th-sound of thistle (The voiced pronunciation is a result of the old position of stress on the end of the word, cf. Greek patér 'father.') The Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung, founded by Adalbert Kuhn in 1850 (the first volume appearing in 1852) is the oldest continuing publication in the field of linguistics in the world. Although the periodical has been published since 1852, it reached the one-hundredth volume only in 1987 because of interruptions for one reason or another. The current editors, professors Alfred Bammesberger and Günter Neumann, in their endeavor to make this jubilee volume something like a 'state of the art' volume invited specialists in comparative linguistics to contribute papers on various aspects of their fields. In addition the editors have asked that if possible the articles contain some historical connection to this journal, which linguists usually know as Kuhns Zeitschrift (or the abbreviation thereof, (KZ) in honor of its founder. The result has been to include at least one article which concerns one of the great Baltic specialists of our century, Franz Specht (1888-1949). (Schlerath, 1987, 207-218).

Specht, a co-editor of this journal from 1935 until his death in 1949, is known for his many important contributions to Baltic studies, many of which appeared here. For example, Specht wrote an important article about the n-stem nouns in which he discusses the origin of the Lithuanian suffixes -ūnas, -uonis, their accentuation and cognates in other Indo-European languages. He devotes some space also to occurrences of the use of feminine adjectives with the suffix -us in Old Lithuanian writings, e.g., platus žemė 'broad earth,' puikus širdis 'splendid heart,' etc. instead of the modern plati žemė, puiki širdis, etc. (Specht, 1932, 213-298). Specht was also a supporter of the notion of Balto-Slavic unity and introduced some new ideas in that arena, e.g., he noted that masculine nouns with the suffix *-tėr have disappeared in the Baltic and Slavic languages; there is no reflex of the Indo-European word * pater 'father' in Baltic or Slavic, cf. Russian atyets and Lithuanian tėvas. On the other hand there remain feminine nouns with this suffix; there is a reflex of Indo-European *mātēr 'mother,' cf. Russian (gen. sg.) mater-i, Lithuanian moteres. (Sprecht, 1934, 248-258). Specht is known also for many other important contributions published in other journals and in monograph form both in the Baltic field and in Indo-European linguistics as a whole. He published the Lithuanian dialect texts collected by the Lithuanian poet and linguist, Bishop Antanas Baranauskas (also known by the Polish version of his name, Baranowski) as well as an edition of K. Širvydas' (also written Sirvydas') Punktay sakimu 'points of Sermons' (Sabaliauskas, 1979, 215-219).

The first editor of Kuhns Zeitschrift who was important for Indo-European as well as Baltic linguistics was Johannes Schmidt (1843-1901), who served from 1881 (vol. 25) through 1904 (Vo. 37). Sabaliauskas, 1979, 79,writes that in Schmidt's first major work Zur Geschichte des indogermanischen Vokalismus 'On the history of the Indo-European vocalism' (Weimar, 1971 - 1875, I - II), the latter made considerable use of facts from the Lithuanian language. According to, Schmidt's famous book, Die Verwandtschaftsverhaltnisse der indogermanischen Sprachen 'The relationships of the Indo-European languages' (Weimar, 1872) is important for the investigation of the relationships between Lithuanian and other Baltic languages on the one hand and the other Indo-European languages on the other hand. In this book, he proposed his well-known wave theory according to which new features of a language spread from a certain point in continuously weakening concentric circles, similar to the waves created when a stone is thrown into a body of water.

Wilhelm Schulze (1863-1935) served as editor from 1905 (Vol. 38) until his death in 1935 (Vol. 62). According to Sabaliauskas, 1979, 235, he published some articles on various problems of Lithuanian historical grammar, accen-tology and etymology.

The periodical Beiträge zur Kunde der indogermani-schen Sprachen, was merged with Kuhns Zeitschrift starting with volume 41 in 1907. At that time the famous editor and founder of the former journal, Adalbert Bezzenberger joined the editorial staff of the latter journal and continued in this editorial post through 1922 (Vol. 50). Bezzenberger (1851-1922), indeed one of the pioneers of Baltic studies, in 1874 published the first in a series which he entitled then Litauische und Lettische Drucke des 16. Jahrhunderts 'Lithuanian and Latvian Publications of the 16th century' which was an edition (with introduction and commentary) of M. Mažvydas' (Mosvidius') 1547 Catechism. In the following year the second volume of this series appeared with an edition of the 1586 Latvian Lutheran catechism, the 1559 Lithuanian baptismal formulary (M. Mažvydas' Forma krikštymo) and the supposed Old Prussian (but in fact Latvian) Tėve mūsų 'Our Father' of Simon Grunau's Chronicle. In 1882 in this series (the title of which had been changed to Litauische und Lettische Drucke dės 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts 'Lithuanian and Latvian Publications of the 16th and 17th centuries') B. Vilentas' Enchiridion (Luther's Small Catechism and some prayers) and the Gospels and Epistles were published. In 1885 the fourth book in this series appeared, K. Širvydas' (nowadays written Sirvydas') Punktay sakimu 'Points of Sermons.' Among Bezzenberger's most important publications was his Beiträge zur Geschichte der litauischen Sprache 'Contributions to the History of the Lithuanian Language' (Göttingen 1877). According to Sabaliauskas, 1979, 84, in spite of various deficiencies this latter work of Bezzenberger's was the fundamental investigation of a general nature on the old Lithuanian writings until the publication of Jonas Palionis' Lietuvių literatūrinė kalba XVI-XVII a. 'The Lithuanian literary language of the 16th and 17th centuries' (Vilnius, 1967).

Sabaliauskas writes further, 85, that the most significant work of Bezzenberger on Lithuanian dialectology was Litauische Forschungen 'Lithuanian Investigations' (Göttingen, 1882) in which the Lithuanian texts — songs, sayings, proverbs, curses, superstitions and beliefs — which he had collected in the years 1879-1881 were published. Bezzenberger also worked on problems of Lithuanian etymology. For example, in 1915 he published an article entitled 'Lit. koja (lett. kaja) 'Fuss" in Kuhns Zeitschrift (Vol. 47, p. 42) in which he connected the Lithuanian and Latvian words for 'foot' with Greek kiein 'to go' and Latin cieo 'I move.' Bezzenberger's publications which are worthy of mention are far too numerous to include them all here, but it is also significant that Bezzenberger seems to have been the first Balticist to make scientific investigations of Lithuanian, Latvian and Old Prussian. It is interesting to note here also that the famous native Lithuanian linguist Kazimieras Būga attended Bezzenberger's lectures in Konigsberg (modern Kaliningrad). Right before his death in 1922 Bezzenberger was chosen as an honorary professor by the University of Kaunas (Sabaliauskas, 1979, 88).

One of Bezzenberger's most illustrious pupils, Reinhold Trautmann, was one of the editors of Kuhns Zeitschrift from 1923 (Vol. 51) through 1925 (Vol. 53). Trautmann's important publications include Die altpreussischen Sprachdenkm'aler 'The Old Prussian Language Monuments' (Göttingen, 1910), which was dedicated to his teacher Adalbert Bezzenberger. This work has attracted the attention of almost all of those interested in Baltic languages and according to Prof. Toshikazu Inoue of Kobe City University in Japan, it was this work which at first attracted him to the study of Old Prussian (personal communication, Feb. 25, 1988) and eventually led him to publish two books, A Graphology of the Old Prussian Enchiridion (Kobe City, 1982) and A Graphonological and Phonological Study of the Old Prussian Enchiridion (Kobe City, 1984). Another important lexical work of Trautmann's is his Baltisch-Slavisches Worterbuch 'Balto-Slavic Dictionary' (Gottingen, 1923) which also caught Prof. Inoue's eye and led him to write A Study on the Lexical Correspondences of Balto-Slavic (Kobe City, 1986). Trautmann's primary scholarly activity was in the Slavic field, but he is also known for his book Die altpreussischen Personennamen 'The Old Prussian Personal Names' (Göttingen, 1925).

In recent years other editors of Kuhns Zeitschrift have made significant contributions to Baltic studies. Thus, Wilhelm Wissmann (1899-1966), one of Alfred Bammes-berger's professors, was an editor from 1958 (Vol. 75) through 1966 (Vol. 80). He helped the famous Erich Hofmann (1895-1982) also an editor of Kuhns Zeitschrift (from 1952, Vol. 70, through 1974, Vol. 88,) prepare for publication Aleksandras Kuršaitis' (Alexander Kurschat's) Litauisch-deutsches Wörterbuch — Thesaurus linguae lituanicae 'Lithuanian-German Dictionary' (Göttingen, 1968-1973, volumes I-IV). This dictionary is of great importance because it records words of the Prussian Lithuanian language, words which frequently are unknown elsewhere in Lithuanian. Hofmann on his part published many articles on Lithuanian in Kuhns Zeitschrift. For example, his article Kultur und Sprachgeist in den Monatsnamen 'Culture and the Spirit of Language in the Names of the Months' (Kuhns Zeitschrift, 1952, Vol. 59, pp. 54-88) is important for Lithuanian lexicology according to Sabaliauskas, 1982, 198. Hofmann also published in the same periodical Das litauische Participium necessitatis und būtinai 'The Lithuani-an participle of necessity and būtinai' (1980, Vol. 94, pp. 229-242) and Zur litauischen Lexikographie 'On Lithuanian lexicography' (1972, Vol. 88, pp. 291-298). In this last article Hofmann replies to some of the comments which the late Leonardas Dambriūnas and I made concerning the Aleksandras Kuršaitis dictionary in our reviews in Akiračiai and General Linguistics respectively. I had objected to the fact that in the Kuršaitis' dictionary the Lithuanian noun išdavikas is given along with the meaning 'Herausgeber, Verleger (publisher)' and had recalled one amusing incident when I had actually referred to the famous German publisher, Carl Winter, as an išdavikas. My native Lithuanian interlocutor had found my statement extremely funny, because for him, as for most contemporary Lithuanians, the primary meaning of išdavikas is not 'publisher,' but 'traitor.' Nevertheless Hofmann points out that in the Lithuanian Academy Dictionary (Vol. 4, p. 175) the first meaning of the noun išduotojas, -a is given as leidėjas 'publisher' and the second meaning is given as išdavikas. The fact that the verb išduoti could mean (among other things) 'to publish' seems indisputable (see the Academy Dictionary, Vol. 2, p. 885), although certainly the primary meaning of the contemporary Lithuanian word išdavikas is, indeed, 'traitor' (see the Academy Dictionary, Vol. 4, p. 170).

But certainly one of Hofmann's greatest achievements is that he continued the work on Ernst Fraenkel's Litauisches etymologisches Wörterbuch 'Lithuanian Etymological Dictionary' (Göttingen and Heidelberg, 1955ff). In his article about Prof. Erich Hofmann in Aidai (March, 1975, No. 3, pp. 134-135) Alfred Bammesberger writes that without the collaboration of Prof. Hofmann (assisted also by Eberhard Tangl and Annemarie Slupski) this dictionary would never have been completed, because Ernst Fraenkel himself died in 1957 after only seven fascicles of the dictionary had been published.

Bammesberger, himself, who also speaks Lithuanian well, (as mentioned above) is one of the two present editors of Kuhns Zeitschrift (along with Gunter Neumann). Bammes-berger's most important Baltic publication is his Habilitati-onsschrift entitled Abstraktbildungen in den baltischen Sprachen 'Abstract Constructions in the Baltic Languages' (Göttingen, 1973) in which, according to Sabaliauskas, 1982, 203, it is as if he is following the tradition of A. Leskien and P. Skardžius in studying the abstract formations of the Baltic languages from the genetic point of view. Sabaliauskas writes further that this monograph of Bammesberger's is one of the best works in foreign Baltic studies of the last decade. In 1974 Bammesberger published an article entitled 'The formation of the East Baltic stative verbs *stãw-ė- and *dew-e (Language, Vol. 50, No. 4, pp. 687-695) and in 1977 an article entitled Zwei litauische Etymologien 'Two Lithuanian etymologies' in Ost und West: Aufsätze zur Slavischen und Baltischen Philologie und allgemeiner Sprachwissenschaft (Vol. 2, pp. 37-41). In this latter article Bammesberger derives the Lithuanian noun kūnas 'body' from the verb kauti 'to strike, to beat' and supposes that the noun originally meant something like '(well) hewn (body).' He connects the Lithuanian noun tiltas 'bridge' with an Indo-European root *tel- 'to carry.' In 1982 he published an article Das lit. Paradigma der idg. Wz. do- 'geben' 'The Lithuanian paradigm of the Indo-European root *dō- 'to give' (Indogermanische Forschungen, Vol. 87, pp. 239-250) proposing that the final -v of the preterit stem dav- comes from the participle with *-was (cf. davęs 'having given'). A similar explanation is found in his 1984 book, Stud/en, zur Laryngaltheorie 'Studies on the Layryngal Theory' (=Ergänzungsheft zur Zeitschrift für Verglelchende Sprachforschung, «i.e., of course, Kuhns Zeitschrift» Nr. 33 [Göttingen], pp. 112-114).

But Kuhns Zeitschrift is known not only for its editors interested in Baltic linguistics, but also because many famous Balticists published their works here.

Articles by the most famous Balticist of all time, the great Latvian linguist, Janis Endzelins, appeared in Kuhns Zeitsch-rift. In 1911 Endzelins published Zum litauischen Akzent Daukša's 'Concerning the Lithuanian Accentuation of Daukša' (Vol. 44, pp. 49-57) and in 1923 he published Zer Betonung der litauischen Präsensstämme 'On the Accentua-tion of the Lithuanian Present Stems' (Vol. 51, pp. 1-17) in this journal. According to Sabaliauskas, 1982,113, Endzelins created the theory of correspondences of the Lithuanian and Latvian intonations, the most ardent supporter of which was Kazimieras Būga, the first native Lithuanian linguist with scientific training.

This same Kazimieras Būga (1879-1924) published his important article entitled Die Metatonie im Litauischen und Lettischen 'The Metatony in Lithuanian and Latvian' in Kuhns Zeitschrift in 1923 and 1924 (Vol. 51, pp. 109-142; Vol. 52, pp. 91-98 and 250-302). In this article he gives many examples in which one form of a word has one kind of intonation (pitch stress) and another form has another intonation, e.g., Lithuanian véjas 'wind' (with an acute intonation) but pavĕjui 'with the wind' (with a circumflex intonation); klétis 'granary' (with an acute intonation) but ;aklėtis 'space under the granary,' (with a circumflex intonation), etc. Although he draws no particular conclusion his vast amount of factual material was important for the progress of study of this important subject according to Sabaliauskas, 1979, 189.

Another very important publication which appeared on the pages of Kuhns Zeitschrift is B. Jēgers' Verkannte Bedeutungsverwandtschafter baltischer Wörter 'Unrecog-nized semantic relationships of Baltic words' (Vol. 80, 1966, pp. 6)162 and 291-307). This was Jēgers' doctoral dissertation defended in Göttingen in 1949. Sabaliauskas, 1982, 244, writes that it is one of the most interesting works dealing with Baltic etymology of the last decades. Ernst Fraenkel was able to make use of this dissertation on his Litauisches etymolo-gisches Wörterbuch 'Lithuanian Etymological Dictionary.'

But references to Lithuanian and other Baltic languages are frequently to be found in Kuhns Zeitschrift articles the primary topic of which may be another Indo-European language. Thus articles on Greek, Sanskrit and Latin will frequently contain references to Lithuanian.

We congratulate then for its strong interest in and support for Baltic subjects the Zeitschrift für Vergleichende Sprachforschung or (as it is better known among linguists) Kuhns Zeitschrift and we wish it continued prosperity and success under the name it will carry in the future, viz., Historische Sprachforschung 'Historical Linguistics.'


Sabaliauskas, A. 1979. Lietuvių kalbos tyrinėjimo istorija iki 1940 M. Vilnius,
Mokslas. Sabaliauskas, A. 1982. Lietuvių kalbos tyrinėjimo istorija: 1940-1980 M.
Vilnius, Mokslas. Schlerath, Bernfried. 1987. Franz Specht in dieser Zeitschrift. K(uhn's)
Z(eitschrift) 100.207-218. Specht, Franz. 1932. Die Flexion der -n- Stamme im Baltisch-Slavischen und
Verwandtes. KZ 59. 213-298. Specht, Franz. 1934. Zur baltisch-slavischen Spracheinheit. KZ 62.248-258.