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Deloria, Ella Cara (31 January 1889–12 February 1971), linguist and ethnologist, was born on the Yankton Sioux (Dakota) Reservation at Lake Andes, South Dakota, the daughter of Native Americans Philip Joseph Deloria, an Episcopalian minister, and Mary Sully Bordeaux. She and her siblings received their earliest education at St. Elizabeth’s Mission, an institution associated with their father’s parish on the Standing Rock Reservation at Wakpala, South Dakota. The Deloria household, where Dakota was spoken as the primary language, provided an environment that was supportive of both Christian values and traditional Dakota language and culture. Deloria continued to intertwine elements of both cultures throughout her personal and professional life....

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Goddard, Pliny Earle (24 November 1869–12 July 1928), ethnologist and linguist of American Indian languages, was born in Lewiston, Maine, the son of Charles W. Goddard, a minister in the Society of Friends who supplemented his meager salary by selling home-grown produce and flowers, and Elmira Nichols. The fourth born in a family of seven children, Goddard learned self-reliance and frugality at an early age. These traits served him well, as he paid his own way to Oak Grove Seminary, a Friends’ academy in Vassalboro, a remote fifty miles from home. When the principal of the school was transferred to the Oakwood Seminary in Union Springs, New York, Goddard transferred, too. He graduated in 1889 and immediately enrolled at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Here he demonstrated interest in language by taking a full curriculum in Latin and Greek. He graduated with an A.B. in classical languages in 1892....

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Harrington, John Peabody (29 April 1884–21 October 1961), linguist and ethnologist, was born in Waltham, Massachusetts, the son of Elliott A. Harrington, a lawyer, and Mary L. Peabody, a teacher. The Harringtons moved to Santa Barbara, California, when John was two years old. As a high school student, Harrington exhibited a talent for languages, particularly German. He completed a B.A. in classical and modern languages at Stanford University in 1905, after only two and one-half years, and took graduate courses at the universities of Leipzig and later Berlin in anthropology and languages, with an emphasis on phonetics....

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Hewitt, John Napoleon Brinton (16 December 1859–14 October 1937), ethnologist and linguist, was born on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in New York, the son of David Brainard Hewitt, a doctor, and Harriet Brinton. His mother was of Tuscarora, French, English, and Oneida descent. His father, of Scotch and English descent, had been orphaned as a boy, adopted by a Tuscarora family on the Tuscarora reservation, and raised as an Indian. Although both parents spoke fluent Tuscarora, they did not teach it to their children. Not until Hewitt—taught to read and write by his parents—entered the district school at the age of eleven did he begin to learn Tuscarora from his classmates. At sixteen, he entered the union school in Wilson, New York, where he studied for two years. He next attended the union school in Lockport, New York, but was unable to finish his last term there, as overstudy and a sunstroke had affected his health. After he returned to the reservation, he became a farmer and newspaper correspondent and established a private night school for Tuscarora men....