Fwd: Death of Chas Hockett

Salikoko Mufwene mufw at MIDWAY.UCHICAGO.EDU
Thu Nov 9 01:31:42 UTC 2000

>>  Charles  Francis Hockett of 145 North Sunset Drive, Ithaca, New York
>>died at
>>the  Cayuga Medical Center on November 3, 2000 after a short illness. He was
>>Hockett was the fourth child of Homer Carey and Amy Francisco  Hockett. He
>>born in Columbus, Ohio on January 17, 1916. He was educated  in the public
>>schools of Columbus and Worthington, Ohio and graduated from  the Ohio State
>>University, receiving both the BA (summa cum laude) and the  MA (high
>>distinction in history) in June, 1936. Thereafter he attended Yale
>>for three years, with financial aid first from the Social Science  Research
>>Council and then from the American Council of Learned Societies. He  studied
>>under Edward Sapir, George P. Murdock, Leslie Spier, Morris Swadesh,  George
>>L. Trager, and Benjamin J. Whorf, majoring in anthropology and  linguistics.
>>He was awarded the PhD in June, 1939, with a dissertation based  on
>>with the Potawatomi Indians of Northern Wisconsin.
>>After  a summer of fieldwork with the Kickapoo Indians of Oklahoma, an
>>in  Michoacán, Mexico, and two years of postdoctoral study at the
>>of Chicago and Michigan, the former with Leonard Bloomfield, Hockett was
>>drafted into the United States Army in February of 1942. On furlough in
>>of that year, he married Shirley Orlinoff of Queens, New York. His  basic
>>training in the army was in antiaircraft artillery, followed by a few
>>helping to prepare other recruits for Officer Candidate School. But  then he
>>was transferred to Army Service Forces and given duties that made  use of
>>civilian expertise: in late 1942 he accompanied a shipment of  officers to
>>General Stillwell s headquarters in Bengal, India, supervising  their
>>of Chinese while en route. Returning from that mission,  Hockett was
>>for several years in New York City, preparing  language-training materials
>>the armed forces. He was commissioned second  lieutenant in 1943, and
>>to first lieutenant in 1945. After the  surrender of Japan he was dispatched
>>via the Philippines to Tokyo to help  train American troops in Japanese. In
>>February of 1946 he was separated from  the army, with a terminal-leave
>>promotion to captain. With that rank he was  called back for the summer of
>>1950 to help in the training of officers in  foreign languages at the
>>Praesidio of Monterey, California.
>>In 1945,  after a summer s work in New York City on Clarence L. Barnhart s
>>American  College Dictionary, Hockett came to Cornell University as an
>>Assistant  Professor of Linguistics in charge of elementary Chinese. He
>>the  newly founded Division of Modern Languages under the directorship of
>>late J. Milton Cowan. In due time, at Cornell, Hockett was promoted to
>>Associate Professor, to full Professor, and finally to a Goldwin Smith
>>Professorship, his rank at the time of retirement in 1982.
>>While on  the Cornell faculty, Hockett headed a team preparing a basic
>>for a  series of textbooks in English as a second language. In 1955 he pu
>>blished an  elementary textbook of linguistics [A Course in Modern
>>Linguistics] (with  translations into
>>Spanish, Polish, and Chinese) that was the standard in the  field for about
>>twenty years. Hockett regarded his introductory textbook in  anthropology
>>[Man's Place in Nature]
>>(1973) as his best scholarly work even  though it was a commercial
>>failure. He
>>published many technical papers,  mostly in linguistics, and he supervised
>>work of about 90 graduate  students working for an MA or PhD, who are now
>>teaching at universities all  over the world.
>>During the fifties, Hockett was on the staff of the  Linguistic
Institutes of
>>the Linguistic Society of America at Indiana  University and the
>>University of
>>Michigan. He taught at the Canadian Summer  School of Linguistics in
>>Alberta in 1960. In 1960-1961 he was  Carnegie Visiting Professor of
>>Linguistics at the University of Hawaii. At  various times he gave
>>lectures at
>>Freiburg im Breisgau; in Düsseldorf;  twice, at an interval of thirty years,
>>in Grenoble; in 1972 at the  Linguistic Institute held at the University of
>>Illinois; in 1991 in Denton,  Texas, to the Linguistic Association of the
>>Southwest. For four months in  the fall of 1986 Hockett lectured on
>>linguistics at the Beiping Foreign  Studies University. He was president of
>>the Linguistic Society of America in  1972, president of the Linguistic
>>Association of Canada and the United  States in 1982, and Distinguished
>>Lecturer of the American Anthropological  Association in 1986. Beginning in
>>1986, he was first Visiting Professor,  then Adjunct Professor of
>>at Rice University in Houston, Texas,  an appointment still in effect at the
>>time of his death.
>>Hockett was  elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972
>>to the  National Academy of Science in 1973.
>>Hockett was a well trained musician,  playing flute and piccolo in high
>>and college, later switching to  bass clarinet, which he played for many
>>in the Ithaca Concert Band. As  a composer, he produced piano music, songs,
>>several marches, an opera (given  two performances by the Ithaca Opera
>>Association in 1973 at Ithaca College),  a concertino for cello and wind
>>ensemble, and chamber music, the last  especially for combinations including
>>oboe or cello. In April of 2000 a  concert of his music was performed at
>>Ithaca College by his daughter,  pianist Alpha Hockett Walker, and her
>>David Weiss, principal oboist  of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
>>Hockett is survived by a  loving family: his wife Shirley Hockett, daughter
>>Alpha Hockett Walker and  husband David Weiss (now of Los Angeles), son
>>Orlinoff Hockett and  wife Jane McLarty (of Ithaca), daughter Amy Robin Rose
>>and husband Eddie  Sackett (now of Detroit), daughter Rachel Hockett
>>and husband  Richard Youngman (now of Cambria, California), and daughter
>>Beth  Hockett (now of London, England). There are also five grandchildren:
>>Rachel s children Charles H. and Annie H. Kee; and Alpha s children Carly,
>>Luke, and Hannah Walker.
>>A celebration of Hockett s life is planned for  the spring of 2001. Anyone
>>wishing to make a contribution in his memory  should direct it to the School
>>of Music of Ithaca College, which he  enthusiastically supported.
>>(Text as it appeared in the Ithaca Journal,  6 November 2000)    
Salikoko S. Mufwene                        s-mufwene at uchicago.edu
University of Chicago                      773-702-8531; FAX 773-834-0924
Department of Linguistics
1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
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