Charles F. Hockett

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Charles Francis Hockett (January 17, 1916 – November 3, 2000) was an American linguist who developed many influential ideas in American structuralist linguistics. He represents the post-Bloomfieldian phase of structuralism often referred to as "distributionalism" or "taxonomic structuralism". His academic career spanned over half a century at Cornell and Rice universities.

Contents

Professional and academic career

Education

At the age of sixteen, Hockett enrolled at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where he received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in ancient history. While enrolled at Ohio State, Hockett became interested in the work of Leonard Bloomfield, a leading figure in the field of structural linguistics. Hockett continued his education at Yale University where he studied anthropology and linguistics and received his PhD in anthropology in 1939. While studying at Yale, Hockett studied with several other influential linguists such as Edward Sapir, George P. Murdock, and Benjamin Whorf. Hockett's dissertation was based on his fieldwork in Potawatomi; his paper on Potawatomi syntax was published in Language in 1939. In 1948 his dissertation was published as a series in the International Journal of American Linguistics. Following fieldwork in Kickapoo and Michoacán, Mexico, Hockett did two years of postdoctoral study with Leonard Bloomfield in Chicago and Michigan.

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