Paul Schach 1915–1998

William Keel
1998 American Journal of Germanic Linguistics and Literatures  
Born in Pennsylvania in 1915, Paul Schach developed an early love for the German dialects and culture of his ancestors. His studies at Albright College and later at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received the Ph.D. in 1949, led him to the fields of medieval Scandinavian language and literature, medieval German literature, as well as to German and German-American dialectology. Since 1951 his academic home had been the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He chaired the German department
more » ... here from 1963 to 1966. From 1966 until his retirement in 1985, he held the Charles J. Mach Professorship. He held visiting professorships at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Colorado, and he received numerous research awards, including grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1986 the University of Nebraska recognized his distinction as a teacher by awarding him the Burlington Northern Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award. His Scandinavian studies, particularly those dealing with the Tristan and Isolde theme, emphasized the significance of cross-cultural factors in the development of new linguistic and literary forms. In 1973 he published his meticulous translation of the Old Norse Tristrams saga. In 1984 the Twayne series published Schach's Icelandic sagas. Schach also served as associate editor (1968-72) and editor (1977-81) of Scandinavian Studies. Schach's work on the origins and present status of Pennsylvania German and of the German settlement dialects of the Great Plains, particularly those of the Germans from Russia in Nebraska, Kansas, and the Dakotas, serves as a model of clarity and reliability and truly represents part of the foundation of German-American dialect studies. As he noted in his introduction to his edition of Languages in conflict: Linguistic acculturation on the Great Plains (1980), his research was devoted to preserving for posterity as much as possible of the linguistic
doi:10.1017/s1040820700002377 fatcat:nonhmqofj5fyxlh4myvjnian4a