LINGUIST List 22.3952|
Mon Oct 10 2011
All: Obituary: Eunice Pike
Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler
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1. Brian O'Herin ,
Obituary: Eunice Pike
Message 1: Obituary: Eunice Pike
From: Brian O'Herin <brian_oherinsil.org>
Subject: Obituary: Eunice Pike
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Born 6 November 1913 in East Woodstock, Connecticut, Eunice V. Pike was the
youngest of eight children born to Hattie May Granniss and Ernest R. Pike,
a country doctor. After graduating from Massachusetts General Hospital
School of Nursing in 1936, she entered the training program of the Summer
Institute of Linguistics (now SIL). Eunice's brother, noted linguist and
scholar Kenneth L. Pike, PhD, had begun linguistic fieldwork in Mexico the
previous year. Eunice followed in his footsteps, beginning her own work
with language communities in another part of Oaxaca state. Though separated
in the early years of their work by a journey involving a three or four day
walk, Eunice and Ken sometimes collaborated on projects.
Eunice Pike enjoyed a long and distinguished career. She and her co-worker
Florence Hansen (UCLA), were the first single women to serve with SIL. With
Eunice's background in nursing and Florence's knowledge of languages, they
were considered an ideal team. They took up residence in a Mazatec town in
October of 1936 to begin language development work. Eunice would live there
off and on until 1979, joined by a number of other co-workers following
Florence's marriage in the 1940s.
In addition to her linguistic work among the Mazatec, Eunice traveled all
over the world as an SIL consultant, helping colleagues with challenges
they encountered in their linguistic research. She specialized in analyzing
sound systems and developing alphabets until her retirement in 1998. She
authored or co-authored more than sixty-five books and articles related to
linguistics, her life among the Mazatec and other subjects.
Eunice Pike died 18 August at the age of ninety-seven due to complications
from a fall. She is survived by her sister-in-law, Evelyn G. Pike, numerous
nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
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