Holger Pedersen (linguist)

Holger Pedersen ( born April 7, 1867 in Gelballe in Kolding, † October 25, 1953 in Hellerup near Copenhagen ) was a Danish linguist.

Indo-Europeanist and Keltologe

Pedersen received his doctorate in 1897 as a linguist at the University of Copenhagen in 1903 and became a professor of linguistics. In the academic year 1926/27, he served as rector of the university. He worked in the field of comparative linguistics, particularly in the Indo-European and Celtic Studies. His Comparative Grammar of the Celtic languages ​​(1909-1913) increases in the Celtic Studies of the early 20th century an important position and is still regarded as a standard work.

In his work The gemeinindoeuropäischen and the pre-Indo- plosives 1951 Pedersen suggested that the aspirated plosives of the Proto - Indo-European not bh, dh, gh, but ph, th, kh had been. This theory was taken up in 1984 in a modified form as glottalized series / p ', t', k ' / Tamas Gamkrelidze and Ivanov WW again.

The Nostra tables

Pedersen came through the comparison of Indo-European with other Eurasian language families to the concept of nostra matic languages ​​, which he used in his work on Turkish phonology in 1903 for the first time. In his scientific historical book Linguistic Science in the 19th Century from 1931, he defined " Nostra table " as follows:

In this work he postulated the genetic relationship of Indo-European and Uralic with the - albeit somewhat weaker - with the Altaic. As more distant relatives he calls the Eskimo languages ​​, Semitic (and thus the Hamito - Semitic total) and - with reservations - and the Basque.

However, a proof of the genetic unity of Nostra tables not tried Pedersen. Only in the 1960s, the tables nostra idea especially by Aharon Dolgopolsky was revived and filled with concrete content (see the article Nostra table ). However, the Basque found thereby not taken into account, it is now regarded rather as a member of the ent -Caucasian macro family.