Eli Fischer-Jørgensen

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Eli Fischer-Jørgensen (Danish pronunciation: [ˈeːli fiɕɐˈjɶɐ̯ˀnsn̩]; 11 February 1911, Nakskov, Denmark – 27 February 2010, Virum[1]) was professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Copenhagen, she was a member of the Danish resistance movement fighting against the German occupation of Denmark.[2] [3][4][5]

She began studying French and German language at the University of Copenhagen in 1929. She specialized in linguistics and her thesis treated "the importance of dialect geography for the perception of sound changes."

From 1933 she became a member of the Linguistic Circle of Copenhagen which evolved around Louis Hjelmslev and his theory of glossematics. Tired of the theoretical discussions of Hjelmslev's circle, she took up research in the field of phonetics in which she became an international figure, publishing widely used text books about general phonetics and phonological theory.[6]

During the German occupation of Denmark from 1940-45, she worked in the resistance group of Professor Carsten Høeg and under great risk helped him assemble a list of Danish nazis to be prosecuted after the liberation. She was a corresponding member of the Danish Academy of the Sciences [7] and the British Academy.


  1. ^ Obituary (in Danish)
  2. ^ Obituary in the Phonetician
  3. ^ Memorial at the Danish Language Museum
  4. ^ Eli Fischer-Jørgensen in Danish Encyclopedia of biographies of Women
  5. ^ Eli Fischer-Jørgensen in the Great Danish Encyclopedia
  6. ^ Seuren, Pieter A. M. (1998). Western linguistics: An historical introduction. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 161. ISBN 0-631-20891-7. 
  7. ^ Earth Times obituary online