Kenneth Lee Pike (June 9, 1912–December 31, 2000) was an American linguist and anthropologist. He was the originator of the theory of tagmemics, the coiner of the terms "emic" and "etic" and the developer of the constructed language Kalaba-X for use in teaching the theory and practice of translation.
In addition, he was the First President of the Bible-translating organization Summer Institute in Linguistics (SIL), with which he was associated from 1942 until his death.
Pike was born in Woodstock, Connecticut, and studied theology at Gordon College, graduating with a B.A. in 1933. He initially wanted to do missionary work in China; when this was denied him, went on in 1935 to study linguistics with Summer Institute of Linguistics (S.I.L.). He went to Mexico with SIL, learning Mixtec from native speakers there.
In 1937 Pike went to the University of Michigan, where he worked for his doctorate in linguistics under Charles C. Fries. His research involved living among the Mixtecs, and he and his wife Evelyn developed a written system for the Mixtec language. After gaining his Ph. D. In 1942, Pike became the First President of the Summer Institute in Linguistics (SIL). The Institute's main function was to produce translations of the Bible into unwritten languages, and in 1951 Pike published the Mixtec New Testament. He was the President of SIL International from 1942 to 1979...
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