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LINGUIST List 16.2632

Mon Sep 12 2005

All: Obituary: Norman A. McQuown

Editor for this issue: Michael Appleby <michaellinguistlist.org>


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        1.    Michael Silverstein, Death of Norman A. McQuown


Message 1: Death of Norman A. McQuown
Date: 08-Sep-2005
From: Michael Silverstein <m-silversteinuchicago.edu>
Subject: Death of Norman A. McQuown


Norman A. McQuown, eminent anthropological linguist of the languages of
Mexico and Guatemala, died on Wednesday, 7 September 2005, of natural
causes. He was 91. Associated with The University of Chicago since 1946,
at the time of his death he was Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and
Linguistics, having also served as founding Director of the Language
Laboratory and Archives. One of the last surviving members of the
extraordinary group of students of Edward Sapir at Yale University in the
1930s, McQuown was early interested in the question of international
auxiliary languages, especially Esperanto, but turned to a documentation
and analysis of Totonac as his doctoral dissertation (Ph.D. 1940). During
World War II, he was responsible for Turkish in the work of the Army
Service Forces Language Section (''165 Broadway''). After the war, McQuown
turned to a career of research and teaching of the indigenous languages of
Mexico and Central America, compiling vast archives of documentation from
the earliest times in an unparalleled collection of microforms now housed
in the Joseph Regenstein Library at the university. During the 1950s and
1960s, he was a pioneer in the use of the then new technology of mainframe
computers for documentary and pedagogical purposes, the archives of which
are being rendered compatible for current computational hardwares and
softwares. He is survived by his wife, Dolores, his daughter, Kathryn,
and a grandson, Reed.


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