William Sidney Allen 1918–2004


in Proceedings of the British Academy, 138 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, V

Published by British Academy

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263938
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734236 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

William Sidney Allen 1918–2004

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William Sidney Allen was an effective and charismatic teacher, and a significant number of those who attended his lectures or came into contact with him when they were students in Cambridge have made major contributions to the development of linguistics in the last thirty years or so. But the principal contribution he made to the promotion of linguistics in Cambridge was not as a teacher, but as someone who skilfully used his professorial authority and (in the early part of his tenure of his chair) his membership of the relevant university committees to get the Department of Linguistics established there and eventually a Chair of General Linguistics, separate from his own Chair of Comparative Philology. In the 1960s, when new departments of linguistics were being created in several British universities, Allen's advice was regularly sought, and on several occasions he served on the appointing committee or acted as an assessor for lectureships and chairs.

Keywords: linguistics; linguist; biography; obituary

Chapter.  15247 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory, Methods, and Historiography

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