Foundation for Endangered Languages
IN MEMORIAM - Floyd Lounsbury
From (whalen(at)haskins.yale.edu) 20 May 1998:
It is with immense sadness that we must report the death of our friend and colleague, Floyd Lounsbury, on May 14th, 1998. Although he had been in poor health for over a year, his indomitable spirit and active research agenda led us to believe that he would pull through. His passing is a great loss to colleagues in his many fields.
Floyd was born in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, April 25, 1914. He served as a master sergeant in the 22nd weather squadron as a meteorologist in the Army Air Forces during World War II. He was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. degree in mathematics in 1941 and an M.A. in anthropology in 1947; he received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1949 in anthropology and an honorary degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. He began teaching at Yale University in 1947, retiring in 1979 as a Sterling Professor.
A scholar in many fields, he made outstanding contributions to linguistic theory and the study of American Indian Languages, of Mayan hieroglyphic writing and of kinship systems. Among his many honors, he was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Endangered Language Fund, Dept. of Linguistics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
And we close this issue with an obituary poem.
from Morning in the Burned House
The dark soft languages are being silenced:
Language of marshes,
The sibilants and gutturals,
The languages of the dying suns
Translation was never possible.