I came across this morning a short article by Herbert Pierrepont Houghton on Georgian nouns. I’d known his name from The Coptic Verb, Bohairic Dialect and from this bookplate, which is affixed to the inside front cover of Chaine’s Grammaire éthiopienne (Beirut, 1907), now part of HMML’s collection.
From 1923-1950, Houghton taught in the classics department at Carleton College, which is only about 120 miles from where I write these lines. According to a brief mention on Carleton’s website, he first studied at Amherst College before earning his doctorate in 1907 from Johns Hopkins. At Carleton, he taught Greek, but also linguistics — a subject not taught nearly as much then as now — Old English, and Sanskrit. As will be seen from his publications (vide infra), however, these were hardly the full extent of his interests. Incidentally, we may note his attention to and appreciation of typography and book design, when we consider the preface to the second edition of his work on the Amharic verb: “This new edition is printed in Garamond type on India eggshell paper… The cover is purposely of a roseate hue resembling one of the shades used in the flag of Ethiopia, the country of which Amharic is the official language.”
As I have said before (here, for example), tactile, or even visual-digital, reminders of our forebears can bring a kind of intellectual pleasure, a sign that we, too, participate in their kind of communio sanctorum, and that is one reason why personalia can be so meaningful (to a small group of people, admittedly!).
Here are a few of Houghton’s works, listed in chronological order. NB: some of the books (in italics) are very short.
The Moral Significance of Animals as Indicated in Greek Proverbs (Amherst: Carpenter and Morehouse, 1915).
“Saving Greek in the College”. The Classical Weekly 10.9 (Dec. 11, 1916): 65-67.
“Review of The Sanskrit Indeclinables of the Hindu Grammarians and Lexicographers by Isidore Dyen”. The Classical Weekly 34.8 (Dec. 9, 1940): 88-89.
“Languages of the Caucasus: Georgian Noun Formation and Declension”. The Classical Weekly 36.19 (Mar. 29, 1943): 219-223.
“Review of Verbs of Movement and Their Variants in the Critical Edition of the Ädiparvan by E. D. Kulkarni”. The Classical Weekly 37.6 (Nov. 15, 1943): 68-69.
Languages of the Caucasus: Two Studies (Northfield, Minn.: Mohn, 1946).
Aspects of the Amharic Verb in Comparison with Ethiopic. 2d ed.. (Northfield, Minn.: Mohn, 1949).
“Gildersleeve on the First Nemean”. The Classical Journal 49 (1954): 215-220.
“The Coptic Infinitive”. Aegyptus 35 (1955): 275-291.
“The Seventh Nemean”. The Classical Journal 50 (1955): 173-178.
The Basque verb,: Guipuzcoan Dialect (Northfield, Minn.: Mohn, 1944). Cf. The Verb in Guipuzcoan Basque (Charlottesville, Va., 1956).
“Coptic Substantive Relationship”. Aegyptus 36 (1956): 153-177.
“The Coptic Sentence”. Aegyptus 37 (1957): 226-242.
“The Coptic Apocalypse”. Aegyptus 39 (1959): 40-91.
“The Coptic Apocalypse, part III, Akhmîmice: «The Apocalypse of Elias»”. Aegyptus 39 (1959): 179-210.
“A Study of the Coptic Prefixed Prepositional Particles”. Aegyptus 39 (1959): 211-222.
An Introduction to the Basque Language, Labourdin Dialect (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1961).
“The Akhmîmic Dialect of Coptic, with a brief Glossary”. Aegyptus 42 (1962): 3-26.
“The Coptic Gospel of Thomas”. Aegyptus 43 (1963): 107-140.