Creation and Publication of Lettische Grammatik — the Great Work by Jānis Endzelīns
Keywords: baltistics, grammar, Jānis Endzelīns, history of book publishing, publishing house Vandenhoeck &Ruprecht, Carl Winter Verlag, Ansis Gulbis
Language: In Latvian

The book Lettische Grammatik by Jānis Endzelīns, professor of the University of Latvia, saw its release in December 1922 from Carl Winter’s publishing house in Darmstadt.   The high-quality historical-comparative description of Latvian language was also the first comparative grammar of the Baltic languages, becoming a cornerstone for a new branch of Indo-European studies — Baltistics. However, the challenges of the book’s release have so far not been addressed. By researching the correspondence between the author and the publishers, stored in Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) and in the family archives of Imants Zemzaris, grandson of Jānis Endzelīns, it has been possible to reconstruct the publishing process.

The article uncovers the long and complex road of the creation and publication of Lettische Grammatik from the contract with the publishers in 1903 until the book’s release, and provides insight into this fundamental work.