Kenneth L. Pike
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Kenneth Lee Pike (June 9, 1912 – December 31, 2000) was an American
linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo ...

linguist
and
anthropologist An anthropologist is a person engaged in the practice of anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns of behaviour, while studies cultural meaning, including ...
. He was the originator of the theory of
tagmemics A tagmeme is the smallest functional element in the grammar, grammatical structure of a language. The term was introduced in the 1930s by the linguist Leonard Bloomfield, who defined it as the smallest meaning (linguistic), meaningful unit of gr ...
, the coiner of the terms "emic" and "etic" and the developer of the
constructed language A constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to ...
Kalaba-X Kalaba-X is a simple constructed language A constructed language (sometimes called a conlang) is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in ...
for use in teaching the theory and practice of translation. In addition, he was the First President of the Bible-translating organization
Summer Institute of Linguistics SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics) is a evangelical Christian Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestan ...
(SIL), with which he was associated from 1935 until his death.


Life

Pike was born in
Woodstock, Connecticut Woodstock is a New England town, town in Windham County, Connecticut, Windham County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,221 at the 2020 United States census, 2020 census. History 17th century In the mid-17th century, John Eliot (m ...
, and studied
theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either related to, devoted to, or proceeding from a deity A deity or god is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed ...
at Gordon College, graduating with a
B.A. Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB; from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Thro ...
in 1933. He initially wanted to do
missionary A missionary is a member of a Religious denomination, religious group sent into an area to promote their faith or provide services, such as education, literacy, social justice, health care, and economic development.Thomas Hale 'On Being a Missi ...

missionary
work in
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
. When this was denied him, he studied linguistics with
Summer Institute of Linguistics SIL International (formerly known as the Summer Institute of Linguistics) is a evangelical Christian Evangelicalism (), evangelical Christianity, or evangelical Protestantism, is a worldwide trans-denominational movement within Protestan ...
(SIL). He went to
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
with SIL, learning
Mixtec The Mixtecs (), or Mixtecos, are indigenous Mesoamerica Mesoamerica is a historical and important region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteris ...
from native speakers there in 1935. In 1937 Pike went to the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan
, where he worked for his
doctorate A doctorate (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republ ...

doctorate
in linguistics under Charles C. Fries. His research involved living among the Mixtecs, and developing a written system for the Mixtec language with his wife, Evelyn. After gaining his Ph.D. in 1942, Pike became the First President of the Summer Institute in Linguistics. Its main function was to produce translations of the
Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Gree ...

Bible
in unwritten
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
s, and in 1951 Pike published the ''Mixtec New Testament''. He was the President of SIL International from 1942 to 1979. As well as and in parallel with his role at SIL, Pike spent thirty years at the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan
, during which time he served as chairman of its linguistics department, professor of linguistics, and director of its English Language Institute (he did pioneering work in the field of
English language learning and teaching English-Language Learner (often abbreviated as ELL) is a term used in some English-speaking countries such as the US and Canada to describe a person who is learning the English language and has a native language that is not English. Some Education ...
) and was later Professor Emeritus of the university.


Work

Pike is best known for his distinction between the ''emic'' and the ''etic''. "Emic" (as in "
phonemics Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the I ...
") refers to the role of cultural and linguistic categories as understood from within the cultural or linguistic system that they are a part of, while "etic" (as in
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

phonetics
") refers to the analytical study of those sounds grounded outside of the system itself. Pike argued that only native speakers are competent judges of emic descriptions, and are thus crucial in providing data for linguistic research, while investigators from outside the linguistic group apply scientific methods in the analysis of language, producing etic descriptions which are verifiable and reproducible. Pike himself carried out studies of indigenous languages in
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
Bolivia Bolivia ; ay, Wuliwya ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Puliwya'' , officially the Plurinational State of Bolivia, is a landlocked country located in western-central South America. The constitutional capital is Sucre, while the seat of g ...

Bolivia
,
Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechua Quechua may refer to: *Quechua people, several indigenous ethnic groups in South America, especially in Peru *Quechuan languages, a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a ...

Ecuador
,
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
,
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...
,
Mexico Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, who are organi ...

Mexico
,
Nepal Nepal (; ne, नेपाल ), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal ( ne, सङ्घीय लोकतान्त्रिक गणतन्त्र नेपाल ), is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is ma ...

Nepal
,
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
,
Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as we ...

Nigeria
, the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...

Philippines
, and
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
. Pike developed his theory of ''
tagmemics A tagmeme is the smallest functional element in the grammar, grammatical structure of a language. The term was introduced in the 1930s by the linguist Leonard Bloomfield, who defined it as the smallest meaning (linguistic), meaningful unit of gr ...
'' to help with the analysis of languages from
Central Central is an adjective In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign languag ...

Central
and
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
, by identifying (using both
semantic Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by which to connect to or link to, another ...
and
syntactic In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntactic
elements) strings of linguistic elements capable of playing a number of different roles. Pike's approach to the study of language put him outside the circle of the "generative" movement begun by
Noam Chomsky Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gesture ...

Noam Chomsky
, a dominant linguist, since Pike believed that the structure of language should be studied in context, not just single sentences, as seen in the title of his magnum opus "Language in relation to a unified theory of the structure of human behavior" (1967). He became well known for his " monolingual demonstrations". He would stand before an audience, with a large number of chalkboards. A speaker of a language unknown to him would be brought in to work with Pike. Using gestures and objects, not asking questions in a language that the person might know, Pike would begin to analyze the language before the audience.


Honors

He was a member of
National Academy of Sciences The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a United States nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and operated for a ...
, the
Linguistic Society of America The Linguistic Society of America (LSA) is a learned society for the field of linguistics. Founded at the end of 1924 in New York City, the LSA works to promote the scientific study of language. The society publishes two scholarly journals, ''Lan ...
(LSA), the
Linguistic Association of Canada and the United StatesThe Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States (LACUS) was founded in August 1974 by a group of linguistics, linguists of the Great Lakes region. This was largely a reaction against the narrowing of the fieldNewmeyer, Frederick J. 1986. H ...
(LACUS), and the
American Anthropological Association The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is an organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology Anthropology is the of ity, concerned with , , , and , in both the present and past, including . studies patterns ...
. He served as president of LSA and LACUS and later was nominated for the
Templeton Prize The Templeton Prize is an annual award granted to a living person, in the estimation of the judges, "whose exemplary achievements advance Sir John Templeton Sir John Marks Templeton (29 November 1912 – 8 July 2008) was an American-born Briti ...
three years in a row. When he was named to the Charles Carpenter Fries Professorship of Linguistics at the University of Michigan in 1974, the Dean's citation noted that "his lifelong originality and energetic activity verge on the legendary". Pike was awarded honorary degrees by a number of institutions, including Huntington College, University of Chicago, Georgetown University, L'Université Réné Descartes (Sorbonne), and Albert-Ludwig Universität. Though the Nobel Prize committee did not publicize nominations, in 1983 US Senator Alan J. Dixon and US Congressman
Paul Simon Paul Frederic Simon (born October 13, 1941) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and actor whose career has spanned six decades. He is one of the most acclaimed songwriters in popular music. Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey, and gr ...
announced that they had nominated Pike for the Nobel Peace Prize. Academic sponsors for his nomination included Charles F. Hockett,
Sydney Lamb Sydney MacDonald Lamb (born May 4, 1929 in Denver Denver () is a consolidated city and county, the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that ...
(Rice University), Gordon J. van Wylen (Hope College), Frank H. T. Rhodes (Cornell University), André Martinet (Sorbonne), David C.C. Li (National Taiwan Normal University), and Ming Liu (Chinese University of Hong Kong).p. 9-15. Adam Makai, ed., 1984. ''Languages for Peace''. Lake Bluff, IL: Jupiter Press.


Bibliography

*Se
Complete list of Pike's publications
(over 250) *1943: ''Phonetics, a Critical Analysis of Phonetic Theory and a Technique for the Practical Description of Sounds'' (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press) *1967: ''Language in Relation to a Unified Theory of the Structure of Human Behavior'' (The Hague: Mouton) *1970: ''Rhetoric: Discovery and Change'', with Richard E. Young and Alton L. Becker (New York: Harcourt, Brace, & World)


See also

*
Americanist phonetic notation#Pike
Americanist phonetic notation#Pike
* Wycliffe Global Alliance


References


Further reading

*Brend, Ruth M. 1987. ''Kenneth Lee Pike Bibliography''. Bloomington, IN: Eurasian Linguistics Association. * Emily A. Denning, "Kenneth L. Pike", in ''
Encyclopedia of Anthropology The ''Encyclopedia of Anthropology'' is an encyclopedia An encyclopedia or encyclopaedia (British English) is a reference work or compendium providing summaries of knowledge either from all branches or from a particular field or discipline. ...

Encyclopedia of Anthropology
'' ed.
H. James Birx Harry James Birx (born June 1, 1941 in Canandaigua, New York Canandaigua (''Utaʼnaráhkhwaʼ'' in Tuscarora language, Tuscarora) is a City (New York), city in Ontario County, New York, United States. Its population was 10,545 at the 2010 census. ...
(2006, SAGE Publications; ) *Headland, Thomas N. 2001. "Kenneth Lee Pike (1912-2000)."
American Anthropologist ''American Anthropologist'' is the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association The American Anthropological Association (AAA) is an organization of scholars and practitioners in the field of anthropology Anthropology is t ...
103(2): 505–509. *Hildebrandt, Martha. 2003. "A Portrait of Kenneth L. Pike," in ''Language and Life: Essays in Memory of Kenneth L. Pike''. (eds.) Mary Ruth Wise, Thomas N. Headland, and Ruth M. Brend. Arlington: University of Texas at Arlington, pp. 3–10. *Pike, Eunice V. 1981. ''Ken Pike: Scholar and Christian''. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics. *''Languages for Peace: Tribute to Kenneth L. Pike''. 1985. Lake Bluff, IL: Jupiter Press. *Wise, Mary Ruth, Thomas N. Headland, and Ruth M. Brend, (eds.) 2003. ''Language and Life: Essays in Memory of Kenneth L. Pike''. Arlington: University of Texas at Arlington.


External links


www.sil.org/klp/ Biographical profile at SIL
with autobiographical essays by Pike



* * Language By Gesture, a televised 1966 example of one of Pike's "monolingual demonstrations"
The Nature of Field Work in a Monolingual Setting
article that describes his method
Pike's ''Phonetics''
at Archive.org {{DEFAULTSORT:Pike, Kenneth Lee 1912 births 2000 deaths People from Woodstock, Connecticut American anthropologists Linguists from the United States American Christian writers Translators of the Bible into indigenous languages of the Americas Missionary linguists Constructed language creators Christian Peace Conference members Gordon College (Massachusetts) alumni University of Michigan alumni University of Michigan faculty 20th-century American non-fiction writers 20th-century translators Linguistic Society of America presidents Members of the United States National Academy of Sciences 20th-century anthropologists 20th-century linguists Recipients of the Presidential Medal of Merit (Philippines)