LINGUIST List 8.1291

Thu Sep 11 1997

FYI: Obituary-Robert Howren

Editor for this issue: Martin Jacobsen <>


  1. William Davies, In Memory of Robert Howren
  2. Randall Hendrick, Death of Robert Howren

Message 1: In Memory of Robert Howren

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:45:41 -0500 (CDT)
From: William Davies <>
Subject: In Memory of Robert Howren

The Department of Linguistics at the University of Iowa would like to
note with sadness the death of Bob Howren this past Friday. Known for
his work on Outer Banks (North Carolina) pronunciation and Athabaskan,
and his more recent interest in Yucatec Maya, Bob was the moving force
behind the creation of the free-standing Department here at Iowa and
its first chair. Those who have followed here owe him a debt of
gratitude, and the Department mourns his passing.
 Bill Davies, Chair
 Department of Linguistics
 University of Iowa
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Death of Robert Howren

Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 13:31:28 -0400
From: Randall Hendrick <>
Subject: Death of Robert Howren

Robert R. Howren, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, died suddenly Sept. 5, 1997, at the
age of 68. An avid sail-plane enthusiast, he had just successfully
completed one flight and was about to undertake another when he
suffered a fatal heart attack.

Bob Howren, a native of Georgia, received his BA from Wake Forest in
1950 and MA from the University of Connecticut in 1952 (both in
English), and his PhD from Indiana University in 1958 (in English
linguistics). After a stint at Wake Forest, he moved to the
University of Iowa in 1962, where he chaired the Interdepartmental
Program in Linguistics 1965-70 and was the founding chair of the
Department of Linguistics 1970-75. During the 1960's he also served
as a language-training consultant to the Peace Corps in Malaya and was
a Fulbright Lecturer in English at the University of Mandalay in
Burma. He came to Chapel Hill in 1976, where he chaired the Dept. of
Linguistics and Non-Western Languages 1976-81, retiring in 1994.

While his research interests included American English dialects and
the history of English, his primary specialization was phonology, with
concentration on the Northeastern Athapaskan languages of the Canadian
Northwest. He conducted extensive fieldwork in these languages, most
notably Dogrib, some in collaboration with his second wife, Phyllis.
In the brief years since his retirement he had enthusiastically begun
a new project on Yucatec Maya, carrying out fieldwork in the vicinity
of Xocen, Mexico and delivering a paper on the topic at a conference
in Guadalajara last April.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to the Robert Howren Memorial
Scholarship Fund, c/o Sharon Mujica, Yucatec Maya Language Program,
Latin American STudies, CB#3205, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3205.

For further information please contact Craig Melchert
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue