David Simon Blondheim an Hugo Schuchardt (2-01037)

von David Simon Blondheim

an Hugo Schuchardt


08. 01. 1913

language Englisch

Schlagwörter: American Journal of Philology Rezension Publikationsversand Dankschreiben Zeitschriften Königlich-Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Berlin) Biographisches Anthropos Sachwortforschung Semantik Publikationsvorhaben Schuchardt, Hugo (1912) Blondheim, David Simon (1914) Tappolet, Ernst (1895)

Zitiervorschlag: David Simon Blondheim an Hugo Schuchardt (2-01037). Urbana, 08. 01. 1913. Hrsg. von Johannes Mücke (2016). In: Bernhard Hurch (Hrsg.): Hugo Schuchardt Archiv. Online unter https://gams.uni-graz.at/o:hsa.letter.3417, abgerufen am 27. 09. 2023. Handle: hdl.handle.net/11471/518.10.1.3417.


Urbana, Illinois, January 8, 1913. Hofrat Professor Dr. Hugo Schuchardt, Villa Malwine, Graz, Austria-Hungary,

Dear Sir,

You will find enclosed a brief notice of the article you so kindly sent me, or rather of the part of the article you spoke of wishing to have noticed.1 Accept my best thanks for the distinguished honor conferred by your suggestion, as well as for the instruction and stimulus I derived from the study of the article. I have sent another copy of the notice to an American journal, in which I hope it will be printed, though there is some difficulty in this country in getting reviews of journal articles published. I send you the manuscript in the hope that, in case I have not properly represented your idea, or if the conclusion does not seem to just, you would kindly let me know at once; there will be ample time to make corrections in the proof sheets, as our journals here do not hasten to print articles.

Would you accept my sincere congratulations upon your recent election to a corresponding membership in the Berlin Academy of Sciences, and believe me

Very respectfully yours,
[handschriftlich] D. S. Blondheim

[handschriftlich] P.S. Please excuse the appearance of this note; my eyes are giving me trouble and my typewriting is even worse than usual. D.S.B.



In the seventh volume (1912) of the ethnological and linguistic journal Anthropos, issued at St. Gabriel-Mödling, near Vienna, Professor Hugo Schuchardt has published (pp. 827-839) an article entitled Sachen und Wörter, which deserves the close attention of all serious students of language. As the journal in question is not readily accessible to most American scholars, it may be of service to call attention to one of the principal points made in the study. Professor Schuchardt shows that we ought not to study the history of words and things considered as fixed entities, since both are involved in constant change and reciprocal readjustment. We should rather direct our attention to the history of designations and of meanings, that is, to the facts bearing on the changes in the name of a given object, as well as to those bearing on changes in the meaning of a given word. He emphasizes the statement that a change in the name of an object is always due to some need felt by the individual, whether it be that of greater accuracy, clearness, convenience, brevity, or what not.

The striking and novel view that what we ordinarily call a change in meaning is really a change in designation is then set forth. It is merely a question of the point of view whether we regard a new sense of a word as a new signification of that word or as a new name for the object denoted. The second procedure is more rational, since the change finds its inception in the object designated by a new name rather than in the word used in a new meaning. We speak of the "neck" of a bottle, not because we wish to give a new signification to t[h]e |3| word "neck", but because we need a name for that part of a bottle. It is only the hearer who feels that such a use of the word involving a change in its meaning; the speaker merely effects a change in designation. The word is not a river in flood which overflows its banks, but one which flows into a hollow lying open before it.

Professor Schuchardt consequently recommends a broader point of view in the study of word history. Bearing in mind the object as well as the name it may bears, we should study onomantic as well as semantic changes.

We already possess a number of studies undertaken from a point of view more or less similar to that just outlined. Works such as those of Tappolet, Die romanischen Verwandtschaftsnamen (Strassburg, 1895), Kemna, Der Begriff "Schiff" im Französischen (Marburg, 19O1) , Zauner, Die romanischen Namen der Körperteile ( Romanische Forschungen, XIV, 1903, 339-530) , as well as a number of later monographs, represent a practical application of the principle enunciated., Diez, Romanische W[o]rtschöpfung (Bonn, 1875) , represents the first step in this as in so many other lines of investigation in the Romance field. The new suggestion is distinctly useful, however, in bringing home to us very forcibly a fact which it is important not to lose sight of. Teachers of historical grammar would do well to impress upon their pupils that Bedeutungswandel is really Bezeichungswandel.

1 Schuchardt (1912a [=629]). Blondheim bezieht sich in seiner Rezension besonders auf Abschnitt III von Schuchardts Aufsatz über 'Sachen und Wörter', wo unter anderem zu lesen ist: "Statt von Bezeichnungswandel, spricht man fast immer von Bedeutungswandel. […] Aber die Bezeichnungsvermehrung, die der Redende vornimmt, empfindet der Hörende als Bedeutungserweiterung. Wir dürfen uns diese nicht unter dem Bilde eines in sich wachsenden und dann seine Ufer überschreitenden Wassers vorstellen, sondern eines solchen, das erst eine entstandene Erdvertiefung ausfüllt' (Schuchardt 1912a [=629]: 833-834).

2 Die Rezension wurde im American Journal of Philology mit leichten Veränderungen publiziert als Blondheim (1914).

Faksimiles: Universitätsbibliothek Graz Abteilung für Sondersammlungen, Creative commons CC BY-NC https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ (Sig. 01037)