Johann Severin Vater

Johann Severin father ( born May 27, 1771 in Altenburg, † March 16, 1826 in Halle ( Saale) ) was a German theologian and linguist.

Life and work

Johann Severin 's father studied theology in Jena and Halle, and received his doctorate in 1794 in Halle with the dissertation Animadversiones et tres libros Aristotelis ad Lectiones Rhetoricum. From 1796 to 1799 he continued his studies in Jena, where he became associate professor in 1798. From 1799 he was professor of theology and Oriental languages ​​at Halle. After the University of Halle had been closed in 1806 by the French occupying forces, he moved to the University of Königsberg. In 1810 he became a member of the Academy of Sciences in Erfurt profit. Since 1820 until his death he was back in Halle.

Father published theological works of Biblical exegesis and church history, but made mainly as a linguist a name. He conducted research on German, Russian, Polish, Hebrew, Arabic, Sanskrit, and various regional languages. Furthermore father was connected Archive for ethnography and linguistics, linguistics and anthropology together with Friedrich Justin Bertuch editor of the journal General. Father was influential in the Slavic languages ​​, including through the Russian grammar written by him and his contacts with Vuk Stefanović Karadžić, to whom he gave the doctorate in Jena. He also made ​​himself a name on the American continent through his work on the Indian languages. His third volume of " Mithridates ", based on the preliminary work of the original Mithridates - publisher Johann Christoph Adelung and own research, is the first representation of Indian languages ​​, which collected all known in Europe contemporary information. The 1812 published volume contains data on more than 500 Native American languages ​​of the entire American continent and a classification of language families, some of which still applies today. Father also used information, the Alexander von Humboldt had collected on his travels and introduced Father available for this work.


  • The continuation of Johann Christoph Adelung Mithridates (Berlin 1809-1817, 4 volumes, Volume 2 completed by father, Volume 3 and 4 of the Father alone published )
  • Manual of Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldean and Arabic grammar. Leipzig 1801
  • Practical grammar of the Russian language in tables and rules together with Uebungsstücken for grammatical analysis. Leipzig 1809
  • Literature of grammars, dictionaries and words collections of all languages ​​of the earth. Berlin 1815; 2nd edition by Bernhard Jülg, 1847.
  • Studies of America 's population from the old continents to the Lord Chamberlain's Alexander von Humboldt devoted father of Johann Severin, professor and librarian. Christian Wilhelm Vogel, Leipzig 1810.