Paul K. Benedict

American anthropologist, mental health professional, and linguist

Paul King Benedict (5 July 191221 July 1997) was an American linguist who specialized in languages of East and Southeast Asia.

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  • Welcome to the field of Southeast Asian linguistics! This welcome comes with a warning: Southeast Asia is the Bosnia of historical linguistics, with a lovely landscape strewn with land mines! … 'Look-alikes' (look less and less alike the more we know about them) abound, as in Malay bĕras and Wr. Tibetan 'bras for 'rice', as do also unlikely-appearing cognate sets such as Thai pu 'grandfather' and Japanese o:i 'nephew'.
    • Benedict, Paul K. 1996. "Interphyla flow in Southeast Asia", in The Fourth International Symposium on Language and Linguistics, Thailand, pp. 1579-1590. Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University.
  • As I see it, Greenberg and I are simply playing different games and the contrast in our approaches reflects that basic difference. … I play one game and am intrigued by the other but I do keep wondering whether that other game has any rules or whether a computerized robot might not be rather better at it all. But long live both games!
    • Benedict, Paul K. 1991. "Comment on Matisoff's comparison between Greenberg and Benedict", in Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 169-170.

See also