Paul K. Benedict

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


  • 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.

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