Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....
and one of the first linguists to study African languages
There are over 2100 and by some counts over 3000 languages spoken natively in Africa in several major language families:*Afro-Asiatic spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, and parts of the Sahel...
Meinhof was born in Barzwitz
Barzowice is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Darłowo, within Sławno County, West Pomeranian Voivodeship, in north-western Poland. It lies approximately north-east of Darłowo, north-west of Sławno, and north-east of the regional capital Szczecin.Before 1945 the area was part...
near Rügenwalde in the Province of Pomerania. He studied at the University of Tübingen and at the University of Greifswald. In 1905 he became professor at the School of Oriental Studies in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...
. On 5 May 1933 he became a member of the Nazi Party.
His most notable work was developing comparative grammar
In linguistics, grammar is the set of structural rules that govern the composition of clauses, phrases, and words in any given natural language. The term refers also to the study of such rules, and this field includes morphology, syntax, and phonology, often complemented by phonetics, semantics,...
studies of the Bantu languages
The Bantu languages constitute a traditional sub-branch of the Niger–Congo languages. There are about 250 Bantu languages by the criterion of mutual intelligibility, though the distinction between language and dialect is often unclear, and Ethnologue counts 535 languages...
, building on the pioneering work of Wilhelm Bleek.