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Hockett, Charles F. (17 January 1916–03 November 2000), linguist, anthropologist, and composer, was born Charles Francis Hockett in Columbus, Ohio, the son of Homer Carey Hockett, a historian, and Amy Francisco Hockett. At the age of sixteen, he entered Ohio State University, where his father served on the faculty. The university offered neither a linguistics nor an anthropology major to meet Hockett's interests in languages and cultures, so he began the study of Greek as part of a combined undergraduate/graduate program in ancient history. His first Greek instructor was the linguist ...

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Sapir, Edward (26 January 1884–04 February 1939), linguist and anthropologist, was born in the Prussian town of Lauenberg, Pomerania (now Lebork, Poland), the son of Jacob David Sapir, a cantor, and Eva Seagal. Sapir’s first language was Yiddish, though he undoubtedly also acquired some knowledge of German in childhood; he read Hebrew with his father from the age of seven or eight. Sapir’s father was not particularly orthodox in his practice of Judaism, focusing on liturgical music over theology. His lifelong, though unfulfilled, ambition was to sing in the Berlin Opera....