Jesuits and linguistics

Daniel Everett dan.everett at MAN.AC.UK
Wed Aug 27 21:03:00 UTC 2003

Yes, well thanks for the names. Perhaps, though, it would be helpful 
not to assume that others knew immediately the relationship between 
even well-known linguists and Jesuit linguists, e.g. whether or not 
this or that linguist is or was trained by or knew Jesuits. A bit more 
specificity perhaps.

Tangentially related to the matter of Jesuits and linguistics, I am 
sure that some on this list will have read The Sparrow, by Mary Doria 
Russell, about an expedition to contact a population of sentient beings 
on another planet. The leader of the expedition is a Jesuit linguist, 
because the whole world knows (in the novel) that the person to take 
the lead in any such contact between civilizations is a linguist. 
Russell told me that her book helped Jesuit recruitment (she is an 
ex-Catholic, converted to Judaism).

This is not why I asked my initial question, but it is an interesting 
observation. And the linguistic fieldwork on another planet described 
in the book is based on monolingual field research and is quite 

I think by now I have received plenty of responses to my query. I will 
try to put together a summary of the excellent and useful responses I 
have received and post them to this list.

Thanks very much to all of you who responded.

-- Dan

On Wednesday, Aug 27, 2003, at 19:17 Europe/London, Hartmut Haberland 

> Hans Götzsche wrote:
>> Wouldn't it be convenient to ask Jacob Mey?
>> Hans Götzsche
> Or Zeno Vendler?
> Hartmut Haberland


Daniel L. Everett
Professor of Phonetics and Phonology
Postgraduate Admissions Officer and
Postgraduate Tutor
Department of Linguistics
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester, UK M13 9PL
Fax: 44-161-275-3187
Office: 44-161-275-3158

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