North American Scholar

HAHN, Emma Adelaide

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  • Date of Birth (YYYY-MM-DD): 1893-04-01
  • Born City: New York
  • Born State/Country: NY
  • Parents: Otto & Eleonore Funk H.
  • Date of Death (YYYY-MM-DD): 1967-07-08
  • Death City: New York
  • Death State/Country: NY
  • Education:

    A.B. Hunter, 1915; A.M. Columbia, 1917; Ph.D., 1929; post-doctoral work at Columbia, Yale, Linguistic Inst. of Ling. Soc. & ling. insts. at U. Michigan, 1947; North Carolina, Wisconsin; AAR.

  • Professional Experience:

    Hon. fell. Lat. Hunter, 1915-6; instr. French, 1917-21; instr. to prof. Lat. & Gk., 1921-63, chair dept. class., 1936-63; hon. fell. ling. Yale, 1934-5, 1936-7; Collitz prof. ling. U. California, 1951; vice pres., Ninth Int. Cong. Ling., 1962; pres. Ling. Soc. Am., 1946; pres. CAAS, 1960-2.

  • Dissertation:

    “Coordination of Non-coordinate Elements in Vergil” (Columbia, 1929); printed (Geneva, NY, 1930).

  • Publications:

    “Vergil and the 'Under-Dog',” TAPA 56 (1925) 185-212; “Light from Hittite on Latin Indefinites,” TAPA 64 (1933) 28-40; “The Dum Proviso Clause,” TAPA 66 (1935) 199-207; “Hittite kwis lewis,” TAPA 68 (1937) 388-402; “The Characters of the Eclogues,” TAPA 75 (1944) 196-241; “The Type calefacio,” TAPA 78 (1947) 301-35; “The Moods in Indirect Discourse in Latin,” TAPA 83 (1952) 242-66; Subjunctive and Optative: Their Origin as Futures, APA Philol. Mono. 16 (Lancaster, PA, 1953); “Notes on Primitivism in Vergil,” AJP 77 (1956) 288-90; “Vergil's Linguistic Treatment of Divine Beings,” TAPA 88 (1957) 56-67; Part II, ibid., 89 (1958) 237-53; “Iterum de sanguine equino,” CP 53 (1958) 34-5; “Nec morti esse locum,” AJP 81 (1960) 73-5; “Sappho, 98 a 7,” ibid., 75-7; “Relative and Antecedent,” TAPA 95 (1964) 111-41; “Was There a Nominative Gerund?,” TAPA 96 (1965) 181-207; Naming Constructions in Some Indo-European Languages, APA Philol. Mono. 27 (Cleveland, 1969).

  • Notes:

    E. Adelaide Hahn was what the Germans call “ein Original.” Her enormous feathered hats, her stentorian voice, her undisguised Brooklyn accent drew crowds to her APA papers on subjects like “The Accusative of the Part and the Whole.” “He smote him as to his neck with a sword,” she would cry. Nothing she ever said was boring. She eschewed literary criticism for the precise and the difficult. Although a Columbia doctor and fellow student of Moses Hadas, who always smiled when her name was mentioned, she was much influenced in her work by Edgar H. Sturtevant. Indo-European studies with emphasis on the history of the Latin language were the center of her published work. When she wrote on Virgil or Sappho, she was exact and her contributions lasting. She suffered because she was a woman. She never taught her specialty. She richly deserved a chair at a university where she could teach graduate students. Rather she was confined to a woman's college, and generations of grateful undergraduates were the beneficiaries of the injustice done her.

  • Sources:

    Thelma B. DeGraff, CW 61 (Oct. 1967-8) 41-2; George S. Lane, Language 43 (1967) 958-64; NYTimes (9 July 1967) 60; WhAm 4:392-3.

  • Author: William M. Calder III