One result

    • Collection number: 2019-16
    • Primary contributor: Mary R. Haas (researcher)
    • Additional contributors: Mary R. Haas (speaker, participant), Heng Subhanka (speaker, participant), Stephen Murray (interviewer)
    • Languages: Karenic, Thai (tha)
    • Scope and content: This collection-in-progress will include materials associated with Mary R. Haas that were not deposited with the American Philosophical Society.
    • Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
    • Preferred citation: Mary R. Haas. Mary R. Haas Papers, 2019-16, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7297/X2ST7N0G.

One result

    • Item number: 2019-16.001.027
    • Date: 26 Jul 1978
    • Contributors: Mary R. Haas (speaker), Stephen Murray (interviewer)
    • Languages: [unknown]
    • Availability: Online access
    • Catalog history: Formerly Haas_01A, Haas_02A, Haas_02B, and Haas_03A, respectively
    • Extent: 3 cassettes
    • Place: Berkeley, CA
    • Description: 4 WAV files, B sides of tapes 01 and 03 blank. Partial transcription (see below) in (1997) publication by Stephen O. Murray (1950-2019), "A 1978 Interview with Mary R. Haas" (Anthropological Linguistics 39(4):695-722).
      The following is excerpted from Murray (1997:695-696): "In 1978, I had completed a draft of my dissertation (Murray 1979) focused on the social history of three theoretical movements-the ethnography of speaking, ethnoscience, and first-generation transformational generative grammar and was extending my research back to earlier American linguistics, especially anthropological linguistics. In the letter in which I requested an interview with Mary R. Haas, I stressed my direct line of academic descent from her, and mentioned two linguists well known to her that I thought would vouch for me, but wrote nothing about my specific interests. Going through the transcript of the interview that took place at her Berkeley home on 26 July 1978, I am struck by her ability and her willingness to answer what I was asking in a number of instances, before I articulated a clear question.
      My particular interests at the time were in the continuities and discontinuities between Sapir and "Sapirians," between Bloomfield and "neo-Bloomfieldians," between "neo-Bloomfieldians" and Chomskyans, and between the students of Sapir (herself and Murray B. Emeneau [b. 1904]) who founded the Department of Linguistics at Berkeley and who trained the next generation of anthropological linguists (i.e., those who were junior faculty in the early 1960s and who launched the ethnography of speaking). I was (and remain) interested in trying to understand Sapir's charisma and wanted to know how he taught those he so patently inspired.' I was also particularly interested in the founding, after the Second World War, of the departments of sociology and of linguistics at Berkeley, and in the sexism intertwined with suspicion about what were viewed as upstart disciplines-not least, by the long-established Berkeley anthropologists (see Murray 1980). In a later conversation, Mary Haas recalled being "the only woman at meetings of department chairs. It was really embarrassing to be the only woman among these men, and they were uncomfortable. From what I read now, I think that some of the problems I had in fighting for the department were probably the unfamiliarity women have with how men exercise power" (p.c. 14 February 1979).
      Friction between not-very-linguistic anthropologists and not-very-anthropological linguists is a leitmotif in this interview. "Getting the language" was always Mary Haas's highest priority. She remarked on the failure of many of her linguistic anthropologist juniors to do that, and also on several leading linguists of her own generation chasing after "Theory" and missing the language.
      She bluntly expressed to me her views regarding the work and the abilities of certain other language scholars. Because I presume that she was shaped more by her elders and her agemates than by her juniors, because I believe that she would not have wanted to cause pain to those still living, and because the interview was lengthy, I have included nothing she said about individuals junior to her, and little of what she said about personal characteristics of her agemates (with the exception of her former husband Morris Swadesh).
      If I could return to that afternoon, north of the Berkeley campus, I would ask much more about the specifics of how she did the linguistic description and analysis she did, especially during the 1930s. I think that this interview records her view of where she fit in the study of languages in the middle half of the twentieth century in North America. The voice I hear from the page is unsentimental, somewhat bemused by the spectacle of males playing king on the hill (the twin hills of Theory and Method) when there are data on vanishing languages that should be recorded, and justifiably proud of her own efforts to record and analyze data on language and language use.
    • Collection: Mary R. Haas Papers
    • Repository: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
    • Preferred citation: [Interview on intellectual histories in linguistics, anthropology, and sociology], 2019-16.001.027, in "Mary R. Haas Papers", Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.7297/X2N878C3.