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Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Whitney, William Dwight

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WHITNEY, WILLIAM DWIGHT, an American educator; born in Northampton, Mass., Feb. 9, 1827; was graduated at Williams College in 1845; spent some vears abroad in study; in 1854 was made Professor of Sanskrit at Yale, in 1870 of comparative philology, holding both positions till death. His writings are authority on all philological questions, and his rank as a Sanskrit scholar is of the first order. From 1849 he was a member of the American Oriental Society, and its president from 1884. His contributions to the “North American Review,” the “New Englander,” and other periodicals, were numerous and varied. His earliest work was the preparation, in company with Rudolf Roth of Tübingen, of an edition of the “Atharva Veda Sanhita” (Berlin, 1856). Among his other works are: “Language and the Study of Language” (1867); “On Material and Form in Language” (1872); “Darwinism and Language” (1874); “Logical Consistency in Views of Language” (1880); “Mixture in Language”(1881); “The Study of Hindoo Grammar and the Study of Sanskrit” (1884); “The Upanishads and their Latest Translation” (1886). He has also written “Compendious German Grammar” (1869); “German Reader in Prose and Verse” (1870); “Essentials of English Grammar” (1877); “Sanskrit Grammar” (1877); and “Practical French Grammar” (1886). Professor Whitney was the superintending editor of the “Century Dictionary” (1889-1891), and assisted in the preparation of “Webster's Dictionary” (1864). He died in New Haven, Conn., June 9, 1894.