BUCK, Carl Darling

  • BUCK, Carl Darling
Date of Birth
Born City
Born State/Country
Edward & Emeline Darling B.
Date of Death
Death City
Death State/Country
Clarinda Darling Swazey, 10 Sept. 1889.

Ph.D. Yale, 1889; ASCSA, 1887-9; study at Leipzig, 1889-92; Ph.D. (hon.) U. Athens, Greece, 1912; Litt.D. Princeton, 1935.


Asst. prof, to prof. Sansk. Indo-European & comp. philol. U. Chicago, 1892-1933; Martin A. Ryerson dist. service prof., 1930-3; arm. prof. ASCSA, 1923-4; pres. APA, 1915-6; pres. Am. Ling. Soc, 1927, 1937; edit. bd. CP.


The Choregia in Athens and at Ikaria (Yale, 1889); printed: AJA 5 (1899) 18-33 and ASCSA Papers 5 (1892) 77-92.


"On the Forms of Artemis and Artamis," AJP 10 (1889) 463-6; "Thir, Latin fera, and the Greek and Latin Representations of Indo-European Initial Palatals + V," AJP 11 (1890) 291-301; Vocalismus der Oskischen Sprache (Leipzig, 1892); "The Oscan-Umbrian Verb-System," U. Chic. SCP 1 (1895) 124-87; "Some General Problems of Ablaut," AJP 17 (1896) 267-88; A Latin Grammar, with W. G. Hale (Boston, 1903; repr. 1966); "A Sketch of the Linguistic Conditions of Chicago," Decennial Publications of the University of Chicago 6 (1903) 97-114; A Grammar ofOscan and Umbrian (Boston, 1904; German translation by E. Prokosch [Heidelberg, 1905]); "The General Linguistic Conditions in Ancient Italy and Greece," CJ 1 (1905-6) 99-110; "The Interrelations of the Greek Dialects," CP 2 (1907) 241-76; "An Archaic Boeotian Inscription," CP 4 (1909) 76-80; Introduction to the Study of the Greek Dialects (Boston, 1909; rev. ed., 1928; repr. 1955); "Hidden Quantities Again," CR 27 (1913) 122-6; "The Interstate Use of the Greek Dialects," CP 8 (1913) 133-59; "Words of Speaking and Saying in the Indo-European Languages, " AJP 36 (1915) 1-18, 125-54; "Language and the Sentiment of Nationality," Amer. Pol. Sci Rev. 10 (1916) 44-69; "Studies in Greek Noun-Formations: Dental Terminations," CP 12 (1917) 21-9, 173-89, 259-301; 13 (1918) 75-88; Part II. 16 (1921) 51-62, 260-279; 367-383; Dental Terminations I. Studies in Greek Noun-Formations, based in Part on Material Collected by the Late A. W. Stratton (Chicago, 1918); "Words for Battle, War, Army, and Soldier," CP 14 (1919) 1-10; "A Semantic Note," CP 15 (1920) 38-45; "Hittite an Indo-European Language?" CP 15 (1920) 184-92; 203-4; "Greek dmphodon, Oscan amvianud and the Oscan eituns Inscriptions," CP 17 (1922) 111-8; "Comparative Philology and the Classics," (Presidential Address) TAPA Al (1916) 65-83; "Epigraphical Notes," CP 20 (1925) 133-44; "The Language Situation in and about Greece in the Second Millennium, B.C.," CP 21 (1926) 1-26; "An ABC Inscribed in Old English Runes," Mod. Phil. 17 (1919-20) 43-4 (219-24); "Words for World, Earth, Land, and Sun," Language 5 (1929) 215-27; A Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin (Chicago, 1933); A Reverse Index of Greek Nouns and Adjectives Arranged by Terminations, with a Brief Historical Introduction, with Walter Petersen (Chicago, 1943; repr. 1970); "The Dialect of Cyrene," CP 41 (1946) 129-34; "The Dialect of Cyrene: A Correction," CP 42 (1947) 56; A Dictionary of Selected Synonyms in the Principal Indo-European Languages (Chicago, 1949).


Buck was a pioneer American Indo-European linguist. His solid publications made him known world-wide. He studied at the universities of William Dwight Whitney and Georg Curtius. He remained first a Wort-philolog and always preferred texts to theory. Much of his work elucidates difficult Greek dialect inscriptions. Since its appearance his Greek Dialects has been the standard textbook for generations of English-speaking students of its subject. His Comparative Grammar, a book of numbing dullness if compared, e.g., with J. B. Greenough and G. L. Kittredge, Words and Their Ways in English Speech (New York 1901 and reprints), nonetheless, taught generations of classicists not to ignore Indo-European linguistics and that Greek, Latin, and English are sister tongues. His Reverse Index and Dictionary of Selected Synonyms, stupendous compilations in the pre-computer age, made elusive source material available to theorists. The Index has been of considerable value to those restoring inscriptions and papyri. He was a soporific lecturer and an uninspiring teacher. Expectedly he produced no school; but his publications, extensions of the grammatical tradition of Gildersleeve, Goodwin, and Smyth, did much to show Europeans that American classics could not be universally ignored.


George S. Lane, Language 31 (1955) 181-9; Vittoria Mondolfo, "Notes" (= full bibliography of Buck) Language 32 (1956) 603-7; NYTimes (10 Feb. 1955) 31; Portraits of Linguists, ed. T. Sebeok (Bloomington, IN, 1966): 2:266-77; WhAm 3:118.

William M. Calder III