passing of a linguistic patriarch

Date: Tue Jan 02 2001 - 13:29:38 EST

On the last day of the 20th century, one of the 20th century's legends in
the field of linguists, Dr. Kenneth Pike, passed away. Dr. Pike studied in
the late 1930s / early 1940s under some of the early founders of American
linguistics - Sapir, Bloomfield, Trager and Fries - and made significant
contributions in that early era in phonetics, phonology, English intonation
and the study of Mixtec languages. He was perhaps best known for Tagmemics,
his unique approach to linguistic theory, but it was probably his notion of
the etic/emic distinction that has thus far had the most widespread impact
not only in the field of linguistics but also in anthropology. His Tagmemic
theories have not been in vogue within theoretical linguistics for several
decades (some have suggested that his best ideas are still ahead of their
time), but his impact continues both through his particular contributions
and through many students from his 30 years at University of Michigan who
are teaching today in the linguistics departments of universities around
the world.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485
E-mail: <>

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