Language, Context, and the Imagination: Essays

Language, Context, and the Imagination: Essays

Language, Context, and the Imagination: Essays

Language, Context, and the Imagination: Essays

Excerpt

Paul Friedrich was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on October 22, 1927. A son of the political scientist Carl Friedrich and the oldest in a large family, he grew up mainly in rural and smallā€ town Vermont and Massachusetts.In 1946 he transferred from Williams College to Harvard, where he specialized in languages and intellectual history. He graduated with honors in 1950 and went on to take a master's degree in Russian. Inspired by the writings of Edward Sapir and encouraged by Clyde Kluckhohn, he shifted to anthropology (and Yale University), focusing on ethnology and linguistics. He taught anthropology and sociology at the University of Connecticut in 1956, and after receiving his Ph. D. degree in 1957 served for a year as instructor in anthropology at Harvard before accepting a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship for a year at Deccan College, Poona, India.On his return in 1959, he joined the University of Pennsylvania as Assistant Professor of Anthropology. In 1962 he moved to the University of Chicago, where he has been Professor of Anthropology and of Linguistics since 1967.

Friedrich has had rich experience as a field worker in diverse areas. As an undergraduate in 1949 he spent eight months collecting political and biographical data among Russian escapees in Germany, and during 1952-55 he worked part-time analyzing Soviet documents as a research assistant at Yale.While in India he carried out linguistic and lexicological field work on the Nayar dialect of the Malayalam language in the state of Kerala.His most extensive and concentrated field work, however, has been on the Tarascan language and culture in southwestern Mexico, which he first visited in 1955-56 and revisited in 1966-68 and 1970, for a total of over three years.

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