Johanna Narten

Johanna Narten (5 October 1930 – 15 July 2019),[1] was a German Indo-Europeanist and linguist who discovered the reconstructed morphological category in Proto-Indo-European now known as the Narten present.[2][3] She was Professor of Indo-European and Indo-Iranian Linguistics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and a member of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften.[1]

Narten studied classical philology at the University of Saarland, moving to the University of Erlangen in 1955 to work on Indo-European linguistics, in particular Indo-Iranian linguistics—especially Vedic Sanskrit and Avestan—with Karl Hoffmann, under whose supervision she produced a dissertation, "Die sigmatische Aoriste im Veda" [The Sigmatic Aorists in the Veda] (1964), which has been described[by whom?] as 'a brilliant masterwork'.[4] Later she published "Zum 'proterodynamischen' Wurzelpräsens" [On the Proterodynamic Root-Present] (1968), in which she showed the existence of a class of verbs that feature a lengthened e-grade in the present i.e. the Narten present.[3] In 1995, she became the first woman admitted as a full member of the Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities).[5][6]

A Festschrift was published in 2000 to honour her 70th birthday: Anusantatyai: Festschrift für Johanna Narten zum 70. Geburtstag.[4]