LINGUIST List 12.122

Fri Jan 19 2001

All: Obituary: Charles F. Hockett

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Karl V. Teeter, Charles F. Hockett

Message 1: Charles F. Hockett

Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 10:47:17 -0500
From: Karl V. Teeter <>
Subject: Charles F. Hockett


	Charles F. Hockett, known to his friends as Chaz, was a star
of Bloomfieldian linguistics, and was also well known for his Manual
of Phonology and a textbook, A Course in Modern Linguistics (1955).
The writer,as a member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard
University, was once privileged to read a reference written for Chaz
by Bloomfield. Bloomfield relates how Hockett came to see him and
asked what native American language badly needed study. Bloomfield
told him Potawatomi and the "next summer he came to see me and placed
on my desk a large pile of notebooks he had used to study Potawatomi;
apparently he just does this sort of thing". Chaz later edited
Bloomfield's posthumous Menomini Grammar and collaborated with Ives
Goddard and me on a study on errata which had crept into his edition.
 He later became well known as an opponent to Chomsky's work,
and published a monograph Lanuage, Mathematics, and Linguistics with
Mouton to show his own point of view on the application of
mathematics. Eventually, in the later years of his life, he tired of
doing linguistics and became a composer of music. Hockett, a native
of Ohio, spent his career at Cornell after receiving a Yale Ph.D., and
died in Ithaca on November 3, 2000. He leaves his wife Shirley, four
daughters and a son, and five grandchildren. He was a past president
of the Linguistic Society of America.
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