Hermann Paul

Hermann Otto Theodor Paul (August 7, 1846, Salbke – December 29, 1921, Munich) was a German linguist and lexicographer.


He studied at Berlin and Leipzig, and in 1874 became professor of German language and literature in the University of Freiburg. In 1893 he was appointed professor of German philology at the University of Munich.[1] He was a prominent Neogrammarian.


His main work, Prinzipien der Sprachgeschichte (Halle: Max Niemeyer, 1st ed. 1880; 3d ed. 1898), has been translated into English: Paul, Hermann 1970. Principles of the History of Language, translated from 2nd edition by H. A. Strong (1888; retranslated with changes by Strong, Logeman, and Wheeler in 1891[1]). College Park: McGroth Publishing Company, ISBN 0-8434-0114-1.

According to Paul, sentences are the sum of their parts. They arise sequentially from individual associations, linked together in a linear form (1886. See also, Blumenthal, 1970). Wilhelm Wundt opposed this theory of sentences, arguing that they begin as a simultaneous thought that is converted into linear, sequential parts (1900).

Other works:[1]

After 1874 Paul and Wilhelm Braune edited the Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutschen Sprache und Literatur (“Contributions to the history of the German language and its literature”).


This Hermann Paul is not to be confused with

nor with


  1. 1 2 3  Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Colby, F. M., eds. (1905). "Paul, Hermann". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.

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