Henry Sweet

From Academic Kids

Henry Sweet (1845-1912) was a philologist, and is sometimes also considered to be an early linguist. He specialized in languages related to English (Anglo-Saxon, Old Icelandic and West Saxon). Sweet also published on larger issues of phonetics and grammar in language, but his work on the Germanic languages is more widely remembered. Some of Sweet's works are still in print and continue to be used as course texts at colleges and universities.

Some of the books he wrote are Handbook on Phonetics (1877), Oldest English Texts (1885), Primer of Old Icelandic (1888), and he edited several books for the Early English Text Society. He never managed to get a position with a college, which disturbed him greatly; he had done poorly in school, he had annoyed many people through bluntness, and didn't take every effort to gather official support. C. L. Wrenn found George Bernard Shaw's character "Henry Higgins" in Pygmalion to be a largely accurate portrayal of Sweet.

A bibliography and Collected Papers were published by H. C. Wyld.

Further reading

C. L. Wrenn, 'Henry Sweet', Transactions of the Philological Society 46.177-201 (1946)

External link

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