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|Birthday/Birthplace||Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm
(1785-01-04)4 January 1785
Hanau, Hesse-Kassel, HRE
|Deceased||20 September 1863(1863-09-20)
|College(s)||University of Marburg|
Jacob Grimm’s Biography
He studied law in Marburg and also in Paris (France), and worked as a librarian in Kassel in 1816. His liberal ideas earned him in 1837 the expulsion from the University of Gottingen along with six other professors who professed similar political beliefs. However, shortly after he was elected a member of the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Consecrated then to the Germanística, it was proposed to elaborate a gigantic German dictionary in no less than 32 volumes, that never came to be concluded.
Outside of Germany he is best known for having been one of the first folklorists to pick up traditional folk tales from his country along with his younger brother Wilhelm Grimm, imbued with the idea of volkgeist of German Romanticism that greatly appreciated literature traditional as an expression of the natural national spirit without touching by culture; both are generally known as the Brothers Grimm. These influential collections were Tales of children and the home (2 vols., 1812-1815) and fairy tales of the brothers Grimm (augmented version of the previous one, 1857).
The importance of Jacob Grimm for German linguistics derives from having understood and described, in 1822, the nature of the phonetic modifications that the Germanic languages underwent, modifications that have since been known as Grimm’s Law (consisting of the mutation phonetics of the Indo-European sound occlusive consonants when passing to the Germanic, so that they became deaf, the voiced stops in fricatives and the sound stops aspirated in voiced fricatives: for example, the Germanic consonants p, t, k correspond to them in other Indo-European languages the consonants b, d, g).
His most important scientific work is the Deutsches Wörterbuch (Dictionary of the German Language) (1819-1837), of more than 20 volumes, the first great step to create a standardized German language. It is still considered an essential reference for German etymology.
With his brother he wrote Deutsche Grammatik (German Grammar, 1819-1837) and Geschichte der deutschen Sprache (History of the German Language, 1848). In solitary he published Deutsche Rechtsaltertümer (Antiques of the Germanic right, 1828), Deutsche Mythologie (German Mythology, 1835) and Über den altdeuschen Meistergesang (On the old German mennestrales, 1811).
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