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Biographical Memoirs, Volume 84
(now SIL International). He was chair of the University of Michigan Linguistics Department from 1975 to 1977 and director of the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan at the same time. For a quarter of a century he divided his time between Michigan and SIL, as director of the SIL school at the University of Oklahoma and helping to establish other SIL schools around the world. He lectured in 42 countries and studied well over a hundred indigenous languages in the field, including languages in Australia, Bolivia, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, New Guinea, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Sudan, and Togo. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1985.
Ken Pike’s contributions to the field of linguistics combined with his dedication to the minority peoples of the world brought him numerous honors. He was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Merit from the Philippines and the Dean’s Medal at Georgetown University. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 15 years in a row and for the Templeton Prize three times. At the time of his death he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Linguistic Society of America, the American Anthropological Association, professor emeritus of the University of Michigan, and president emeritus of the SIL. At least 25 encyclopedias have published entries on him. He published 30 books, over 200 scholarly articles, another 90 articles for popular magazines, 8 poetry collections, and numerous other works—Scripture translations, individual poems, instruction workbooks, videos, and audio recordings. For a list of his publications up to 1987 see Brend (1987); for a complete list up to 2003 see Spanne and Wise (2003).2
Pike’s last trip overseas was to Irian Jaya, Indonesia, in 1995, where he was the plenary speaker at the International Conference on New Guinea Languages at Cenderawasih