Oswald Szemerényi

Oswald John Louis Szemerényi (Hungarian pronunciation: [ˈsɛmɛreːɲi]; 7 September 1913 in London – 29 December 1996 in Freiburg) was a Hungarian Indo-Europeanist with strong interests in comparative linguistics in general.

He was educated in Hungary, at Eötvös Loránd University, and he studied at the universities of Heidelberg and Berlin. He was influenced by Hungarian linguist Gyula Laziczius. In 1942 he was appointed lecturer in Greek at Budapest University. In 1944 he habilitated with a thesis on Balto-Slavic unity, and in 1947 he was appointed professor of comparative Indo-European linguistics in Budapest. He returned to England in 1948, where he worked for Bedford College until 1960. He was professor of linguistics at Freiburg University from 1965 to 1981. He founded the Freiburg Linguistics Circle, influenced by the Budenz Circle, led by Josef Budenz, the founder of Finno-Ugric studies.

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