Carl Marstrander

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Carl Johan Sverdrup Marstrander (26 November 1883 - 23 December 1965) was a Norwegian linguist, known for his work on the Irish language.[1] His works, largely written in Norwegian, on the Celtic and Norse components in Norwegian culture, are considered important for modern Norway.[2]

Life[edit]

He was a student of Sophus Bugge and Alf Torp, and spent time in Ireland from 1907, studying modern Irish on Great Blasket Island unerTomás Ó Criomhthain,[3][4] and then teaching at the School of Irish Learning in 1910. He jointly edited Ériu volumes 5~6 (1911–12) with Kuno Meyer.[3] From 1913 to 1954 he was Professor in Celtic languages at the University of Oslo.[3][1] During the German occupation of Norway he was jailed several times, and once came close to execution after an arrest by the Gestapo.[3][5] He influenced later linguists, including Alf Sommerfelt and Carl H. J. Borgstrøm.[6]

Scholarly work[edit]

He was general editor from 1910–14 for the long-projected historical Dictionary of the Irish Language, the first fasciculus of which was published by the Royal Irish Academy in 1913.[3][7] His articles were of enduring influence, and published in Revue Celtique and Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie, and his own journal, Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap which he founded in 1928.[3]

His Bidrag til det Norske Sprogs historie i Irland (1915) and Les présents indo-européens à nasale infixée en celtique (1924), are two of his larger works.[3]

He is also known for his writings on the history of the Isle of Man, [8] and for securing support and recognition for the Manx historian J. J. Kneen.[9] He made pioneering sound recordings of the Manx language, at a time when few fluent native speakers survived.[10][11]

He theorised a North Italian or Etruscan origin for the runes. This was, however, partly based on an artefact known now to have been faked.[12][13]

Notes[edit]

Bibliography