Dell Hymes

Most Influential Person

American anthropologist and linguist

Why Is Dell Hymes Influential?

According to Wikipedia, Dell Hathaway Hymes was a linguist, sociolinguist, anthropologist, and folklorist who established disciplinary foundations for the comparative, ethnographic study of language use. His research focused upon the languages of the Pacific Northwest. He was one of the first to call the fourth subfield of anthropology "linguistic anthropology" instead of "anthropological linguistics". The terminological shift draws attention to the field's grounding in anthropology rather than in what, by that time, had already become an autonomous discipline . In 1972 Hymes founded the journal Language in Society and served as its editor for 22 years. He was accused of sexual harassment in the later years of his tenure at the University of Pennsylvania.

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