Haas, Mary R. (Mary Rosamond), 1910-1996

Alternative names
Birth 1910-01-12
Death 1996-05-17

Biographical notes:

Linguist Haas began graduate work in Philology at the University of Chicago in 1930, but soon followed her advisor, Edward Sapir, to Yale. There, in 1935, she received her doctorate for an exacting descriptive analysis of Tunica, a linguistic isolate spoken in Louisiana, establishing what would become a life-long association with the Native American languages of the Southeastern United States. Eventually, Haas' research encompassed a wide array of languages from Tunica to Thai to the Athabascan and Muskogean languages and the Native American languages of California. As Professor of Linguistics at the University of California Berkeley, she exerted considerable influence over American linguistics both through her own work and through that of her numerous students. Among other honors bestowed upon her were membership in the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

From the guide to the Mary Rosamond Haas papers, ca. 1930-1996, Circa 1930-1996, (American Philosophical Society)

A Wisconsin native, Lounsbury completed his undergraduate education at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and took an MA degree there. He then went to Yale University and was awarded a Ph.D. for work on Oneida phonology and morphology in 1949. While in the Ph.D. program he started teaching, and remained at Yale for the rest of his career. Retiring in 1979, Lounsbury was appointed Sterling Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, a post he held until his death at age 84.

Influenced by his graduate advisor, Morris Swadesh, Lounsbury undertook (1939-1940) the WPA-funded Oneida Language and Folklore Project, Green Bay, Wisconsin. This work eventually culminated in his MA thesis and dissertation. Lounsbury undertook pioneering work in descriptive and comparative Iroquoian linguistics, and made very significant contributions to the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphic texts. He was also an important innovator in the formal analysis of kinship terminologies and structural semantics. Fieldwork was conducted among the Oneida and all other speakers of surviving Iroquoian languages, Natchez, two Mayan and six Brazilian Indian languages. Lounsbury was a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (1969), and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1976) and American Philosophical Society (1987).

From the guide to the Floyd Glenn Lounsbury papers, ca. 1935-1998, Circa 1935-1998, (American Philosophical Society)


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  • Waimiri Indians--Social life and customs
  • Iroquoian languages
  • United States. Works Progress Administration
  • Nootka Indians
  • Lacandon Indians--Social life and customs
  • Pueblo Indians
  • Indians of Central America--Languages--Writing
  • Illustrations--Color
  • Northwest Coast Indians
  • Oneida Indians--Wisconsin
  • Natchez language
  • Linguistics
  • Burmese language
  • Seminole language
  • Cherokee language
  • Thai language
  • Incas
  • Indians of South America--Andes Region--Social life and customs
  • Ditidaht Indians
  • Plains Indians
  • Oneida language
  • Mayan languages--Writing
  • Kuchin language
  • Tunica--Biloxi Indians
  • Quechua Indians--Social life and customs
  • Indians of Mexico--Languages--Writing
  • Indians of North America--Oklahoma
  • Indians of South America--Languages
  • Oneida Indians
  • Creek Indians
  • Seminole Indians
  • Choctaw language
  • Creek language
  • Tunica language
  • Maya Indians
  • Incas--Social life and customs
  • Indians of North America--British Columbia
  • Catawba language


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