Donald Laycock


Donald Laycock

Dr Donald Laycock (1936–1988) was an Australian linguist and anthropologist. He is best remembered for his work on the languages of Papua New Guinea.

Contents

Biography

He was a graduate of University of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia and later worked as a researcher at the University of Adelaide in Anthropology. He undertook his Ph.D. at the Australian National University in linguistics and became a world authority on the languages of Papua New Guinea.

He performed several pioneering surveys of the languages of the Sepik region of New Guinea. The first of these, his Ph.D. research under the supervision of Stephen Wurm, was published as The Ndu languages (1965), and established the existence of this closely related group of languages. In subsequent surveys, Laycock found the Ndu languages were part of a larger language family extending through the middle and upper Sepik valley (the "Sepik subphylum"), and in 1973 he proposed that these languages formed part of a Sepik–Ramu phylum. This remained the general consensus in the linguistic world for over 30 years. While more recent work by William Foley and Malcolm Ross has cast doubt on a link between the Ramu – Lower Sepik languages and the Sepik languages, the "Sepik subphylum" seems established as a genuine group.

Laycock also first identified the Torricelli (1968) and Piawi groups of languages. He published numerous papers in linguistics and anthropology.

He was described by his fellow authors of Skeptical (David Vernon, Dr Colin Groves and Simon Brown) as a 20th Century 'Renaissance Man' as his interests were wide ranging from Melanesian languages, to channelling, Tarot cards and bawdy songs.

He was a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA), Vice President of the Australian Linguistic Society (ALS) and a member of Mensa. A keen member of the Australian Skeptics he entertained many people at Skeptic's conventions with his demonstrations of glossolalia and going into trances. After his death, Laycock's meticulous work on the Enochian 'language' (which was allegedly channelled to an associate of the Elizabethan mystic John Dee) was turned by a colleague into one of the very few classics of skeptical linguistics.

He died, after a short illness, in Canberra, on 27 December 1988.

See also

Selected bibliography

  • The Ndu language family (Sepik District, New Guinea). Pacific Linguistics C-1. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 1965.
  • "Languages of the Lumi subdistrict (West Sepik district), New Guinea." Oceanic Linguistics 7: 36-66. 1968.
  • Sepik languages - checklist and preliminary classification. Pacific Linguistics B-25. Canberra, 1973.
  • (with John Z'graggen) "The Sepik–Ramu phylum." In: Stephen A. Wurm, ed. Papuan languages and the New Guinea linguistic scene: New Guinea area languages and language study 1. Pacific Linguistics C-38. 731-763. Canberra, 1975.
  • The Complete Enochian Dictionary: A Dictionary of the Angelic Language as Revealed to Dr. John Dee and Edward Kelley, London: Askin Publishers. 1978
  • The Best Bawdry, Angus & Robertson, Sydney, 1982
  • The World's Best Dirty Songs, Angus & Robertson, North Ryde, 1987, ISBN 0-207-15408-2
  • (with Alice Buffet) Speak Norfuk Today, Norfolk Island, 1988
  • Skeptical Eds. Don Laycock, David Vernon, Colin Groves, Simon Brown, Canberra Skeptics, 1989, ISBN 0-7316-5794-2
  • A Dictionary of Buin, a language of Bougainville, ed. Masayuki Onishi (Pacific Linguistics 537, 2003)--published posthumously. ISBN 0858835118.

References

  • The Skeptic, Vol 19, No 1, p7
  • The Second Coming, Barry Williams, Australian Skeptics, Sydney, 1990
  • Aspects of meaning in fieldwork, in Tom Dutton, Malcolm Ross and Darrell Tryon (eds), The language game: Papers in memory of Don C. Laycock, Pacific Linguistics, C 110, 22 pp., Canberra: ANU, 1993

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laycock (surname) — Laycock is an English surname, likely originating from the placename Lacock, in Wiltshire (which is pronounced Laycock ) or Laycock in West Yorkshire.According to the 1990 United States Census, Laycock is the 22119th most common surname.… …   Wikipedia

  • Laycock — /ˈleɪkɒk/ (say laykok) noun Donald, born 1931, Australian abstract painter, printmaker and teacher …   Australian English dictionary

  • Enochian — This article is about the Angelical Language recorded in the journals of Dr. John Dee. For Dee s overall system of Angel Magic, see Enochian Magic. For other examples of divine or angelic languages, see Divine language. Enochian is a name often… …   Wikipedia

  • Taiap language — language name=Taiap states=Papua New Guinea region=Gapun village (East Sepik Province) speakers=80 (2000) familycolor=Isolate iso2=paa|iso3=gpnTaiap (also called Gapun , after the name of the village where it is spoken) is an endangered language… …   Wikipedia

  • Mongol–Langam languages — Mongol–Langam Geographic distribution: New Guinea Linguistic classification: Ramu – Lower Sepik? Ramu? Mongol–Langam Subdivisions …   Wikipedia

  • Énochien — Alphabet Énochien L’énochien, ou hénokéen ou « Langage des Anges », est une langue occulte ou angélique supposée, possédant son propre alphabet, découverte dans les carnets de note des occultistes et alchimistes anglais John Dee et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Playing card — Blue Rider back Bicycle Playing Cards by USPCC …   Wikipedia

  • Tarot — The tarot (also known as tarocchi, tarock or similar names) is typically a set of seventy eight cards, comprised of twenty one trump cards, one Fool, and four suits of fourteen cards each ten pip and four face cards (one more face card per suit… …   Wikipedia

  • Tarot (cartas) — Para otros usos de este término, véase Tarot. El tarot es una baraja de naipes que, además de servir para jugar, se usa a menudo como medio de adivinación del pasado, de la situación presente del consultante y algunas veces del futuro, por lo que …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sepik-Ramu languages — The Sepik Ramu languages are a hypothetical language family linking the Sepik, Ramu, Nor Pondo (Lower Sepik), Leonhard Schultze (Walio Papi), and Yuat families, together with the Taiap language isolate, and proposed by Donald Laycock in 1973. All …   Wikipedia