Hoijer, Harry, 1904-1976

Alternative names
Birth 1904-09-06
Death 1976-03-04

Biographical notes:

James M. Crawford was a linguist who mainly studied Native American languages, including Cocopa, Yuchi, and Mobilian trade language. He came to the field of linguistics halfway through his lifetime after pursuing a career in forestry in the West and Southwest. After receiving his PhD in 1966 from the University of California at Berkeley, he returned to his birthplace, Georgia, where he taught in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Georgia at Athens.

From the guide to the Recordings of Native American languages, Bulk, 1963-1973, 1953, 1956, 1963, 1965, 1967-68, 1970-73, (American Philosophical Society)

Dorothea V. Kaschube is an anthropologist.

From the guide to the Crow Texts, 1978, (American Philosophical Society)

Harry Hoijer was an anthropologist and linguist.

From the description of Papers, 1930-1934, 1956. (American Philosophical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 122608814

Harry Hoijer was born to immigrant Swedish parents in Chicago in 1904. He studied mathematics and engineering at the University of Chicago (B.A. 1927) and only began his research into American Indian languages as a graduate student at the University of Chicago (M.A. 1929, Ph.D. 1931). He continued at Chicago as instructor in anthropology until 1940, when he was appointed Assistant Professor in the newly formed Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. At Chicago, Hoijer was most influenced by Edward Sapir, with whom he shared a lifelong professional association.

At UCLA, Hoijer was instrumental in developing the Graduate Program in Linguistics, chairing the interdepartmental program from 1959 to 1963, when the Department of Linguistics was established. His own affiliation at UCLA remained with the Department of Anthropology. With Ralph L. Beals he co-authored An Introduction to Anthropology (1953; 4th ed., 1971).

Hoijer was a visiting professor in regular and summer sessions at several universities, and taught in nine of the summer linguistic institutes sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America. From 1950 until his retirement he chaired the Committee on Research in American Indian Languages, sponsored by the American Council of Learned Societies. He served as President of the American Anthropological Association in 1958 and President of the Linguistic Society of America in 1959. He was also a consultant to the UNESCO Commission on Language and Mentality.

Hoijer placed his scholarship at the service of the community. He introduced a statement for the defense in the Sleepy Lagoon murder trial, refuting the prosecution's contention that the defendants had inherited a blood lust from the Aztec ancestors. He also joined the fight against the abusive and infamous Loyalty Oath controversy at the University of California, and was subpoenaed by the California Committee on Un-American Activities.

His many publications reflect his dedication to both linguistics and anthropology. His doctoral fieldwork on the Coahuiltecan language, Tonkawa, in Oklahoma resulted in the publication of an important sketch in the Handbook of American Indian Languages (1933). With the later publication of Tonkawa Texts (1972), Hoijer created a lasting testimony to Tonkawa culture. His later studies were concentrated on the Athapascan languages of the American Southwest and the Pacific Coast. Like the inaugural work on Tonkawa, they were the result of extensive fieldwork.

In addition to his own publications, Hoijer inherited a corpus of materials from Edward Sapir, as well as the responsibility of acting as Sapir's literary executor. The Navajo Lexicon published in 1974, was Hoijer's last major work. Like Navajo Texts (1942), it was the product of a collaboration between Hoijer and Sapir. Hoijer also served in editorial capacities on the International Journal of American Linguistics and the American Anthropologist .

An extensive bibliography of Hoijer's publications was published by William Bright in IJAL 30 (1964):169-174; this is supplemented by select bibliographies in two necrological essays: by Victoria Fromkin, in Language 53 (1977):169-173, and by Ralph L. Beals, in the American Anthropologist 79 (1977):105-110.

From the guide to the Harry Hoijer Collection, 1930-1976, Bulk, 1930-1934, 1930-1976, (American Philosophical Society)


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Koasati language
  • Chiricahua language
  • Alabama Indians--Folklore
  • Mescalero language
  • Creation--Mythology
  • Indians of Mexico--Languages
  • Cherokee language
  • Crow Indians
  • Cocopa Indians--Domestic life
  • Navajo Indians
  • Mobilian trade language
  • Infants--Language
  • Shoshoni language
  • Coyote (Legendary character)--Legends
  • Shepherds--Folklore
  • Yavapai Indians--Music
  • Russian language--Texts
  • Galice language
  • Chiricahua Apache language
  • Gwich'in language
  • Crow language
  • Yuchi Indians
  • Yavapai language
  • Cocopa Indians--Music
  • Trail of Tears, 1838-1839
  • Yuki language
  • Kumiai language
  • Cocopa language
  • Choctaw language
  • Linguistics
  • Tolowa Indians--Music
  • Yuchi Indians--Educiation
  • Cocopa Indians--Education
  • Tolowa language
  • Cocopa Indians--Social life and customs
  • Navajo language
  • Crow Indians--Social life and customs
  • Indians of North America--Languages
  • Chickasaw language
  • Jicarilla language
  • Yuchi language
  • Mohave Indians--Music
  • Alabama Indians--Music
  • Athapascan languages
  • Carrier language
  • Cocopa Indians--Folklore
  • Alabama language
  • Yuchi Indians--History
  • Yuchi Indians--Social life and customs
  • Sarsi language
  • Chontal language--Dictionaries
  • San Carlos Apache language
  • Lipan Apache language
  • Birds--Songs and music


not available for this record


not available for this record