Virginia D. Hymes

Lecturer, Emerita

M.A. Indiana University 1954

Specialties

Linguistic anthropology, North American Indian ethnography and linguistics, analysis of oral narrative, ethnography of speaking.

Statement from Virginia Hymes Memorial by Ellen Contini-Morava

Recording of Virginia Hymes' remarks at 2009 American Anthropological Association panel, "Listening to Discourse and Ways of Telling Stories: Papers in Honor of Virginia Hymes", organized by Alexander D. King and Eve Danziger

1923 - 2015

Daily Progress: Obituary for Virginia Hymes 

My earliest interest in anthropology was focussed on linguistics, but three years in Puerto Rico added a fascination with how anthropologists study the ways different people work out ways of being human, raising children, living in families, celebrating seasonal rituals. Graduate work in anthropology at Indiana and later at UCLA made it possible to keep all these interests active. Later, opportunities arose at Harvard, Berkeley and Penn, though not as a student, to learn to observe child-rearing practices, to work on a child language acquisition project, and to work on a project in comparative ethnography of speaking. When I returned to graduate school at Penn in the early seventies it was to prepare to work on the Sahaptin language at Warm Springs reservation in Oregon. That work continues into the present. Beginning in 1975, teaching in the Folklore Department at Penn, I began to work on oral narratives, and their analysis as a kind of poetry. This work has involved narratives in Sahaptin, other Native American languages and English. Most recently, at Virginia, I have taught about Native American women and developed my interest in gender issues that had began at Penn.

Specializations

Linguistic anthropology, North American Indian ethnography and linguistics, analysis of oral narrative, ethnography of speaking.

Selected Publications

1995 - Experimental Folklore Revisited.  

In Fields of Folklore: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Goldstein. Roger D. Abrahams, ed.

 Bloomington: Trickster Press. 1994 - How Long Ago We Got Lost: A Warm Springs Sahaptin Narrative. 

Anthropological Linguistics 34 (1-4):73-83.

1987 - Warm Springs Sahaptin Verse Analysis  

In Native American Discourse. Joel Sherzer and Anthony Woodbury, eds. Pp.62-102.

 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1981 - The Ethnography of Linguistic Intuitions at Warm Springs.  

In The Second LACUS Forum. Peter A. Reich, ed. Pp. 29-36.

 Columbia, South Carolina: Hornbeam Press. 1981 - Athapaskan Numeral Systems.  

International Journal of American Linguistics 21 (1):26-45.

Selected Publications

 

1995 - Experimental Folklore Revisited.  

In Fields of Folklore: Essays in Honor of Kenneth Goldstein. Roger D. Abrahams, ed.

 Bloomington: Trickster Press. 1994 - How Long Ago We Got Lost: A Warm Springs Sahaptin Narrative. 

Anthropological Linguistics 34 (1-4):73-83.

1987 - Warm Springs Sahaptin Verse Analysis  

In Native American Discourse. Joel Sherzer and Anthony Woodbury, eds. Pp.62-102.

 Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1981 - The Ethnography of Linguistic Intuitions at Warm Springs.  

In The Second LACUS Forum. Peter A. Reich, ed. Pp. 29-36.

 Columbia, South Carolina: Hornbeam Press. 1981 - Athapaskan Numeral Systems.  

International Journal of American Linguistics 21 (1):26-45.