William Henry Carpenter (philologist)

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William Henry Carpenter (1853, Utica, New York - 1936) was a United States philologist, and provost for Columbia University.


He was educated at Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Hamilton College, Leipzig, and Freiburg. He then became instructor in rhetoric and lecturer on North European literature at Cornell in 1883. At Columbia University, he was instructor of German and Scandinavian languages, 1883–89; assistant professor of Germanic languages and literature, 1889–90; adjunct professor, 1890–95; and in 1895 professor of German philology.[1] In 1912 he became the provost of Columbia.[2] He was trustee and secretary of the Columbia University Press.[1]

He was elected vice president of the Germanistic Society of America,[3] and edited the Germanistic Society Quarterly. He was a member of the Authors Club and Century Club of New York City.[1]

Among his students in Germanics were linguist Edward Sapir.[4]


  • Grundriss der neuisländischen Grammatik (1881)
  • Nikolasdrapa Halls Prest, An Icelandic Poem from A. D. 1400 (1881)
  • Some Conditions of American Education (1911)

He contributed to dictionaries and encyclopedias and to magazines and reviews.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Carpenter, William Henry". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  2. ^ Columbia University in the City of New York Catalogue, 1914-1915, New York: The University, https://archive.org/details/catalogue1914colu, p. 11.
  3. ^ The Activities of the Germanistic Society of America, 1904-1910, Publications of the Society, IV, New York: The Society, 1910, https://archive.org/details/cu31924032755591, pp. 8, 22, 29, 30.
  4. ^ Darnell, R. (1990). Edward Sapir: linguist, anthropologist, humanist. University of California press Berkeley & Los Angeles. p. 8. ISBN 0-520-06678-2. 

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