John Holm

A very brief death notice for John Holm, a great pioneer in the study of pidgin and creole languages (and, incidentally, a very nice man). The NYT had a substantial obituary for him (by William Grimes) on the 4th, quoting linguist (and Language Logger) Sally Thomason on the significance of his work (and noting that John is survived by his husband, Michael Pye, and a brother).

Ben Zimmer posted a death notice on Language Log on the 4th (in “R.I.P. John Holm (1943-2015)”), based on the NYT piece.

John was resolute in treating pidgins and creoles as languages in their own right, not as debased versions of other languages — an attitude that is commonplace now but took considerable work to establish, a job that John did a lot of the heavy lifting on.


One Response to “John Holm”

  1. Tommy Boy Says:

    The NYT obit mentions Holm’s husband twice. Interesting to note that some newspapers’ reproduction of the NYT story omit reference to ‘husband’. For example, Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald. On the other hand, Nigeria Times reproduced the original article unedited.
    The Bahamas Tribune which borrows heavily from the NYT article makes no mention of Holm’s husband, despite regularly using the standard “is survived by” for its obituaries.

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