ALLEN, William Sidney

ALLEN, William Sidney. London 18.3.1918 — Cambridge 22.4.2004. British Linguist and Sanskritist. Professor at Cambridge. Son of William Percy Allen, an engineer of printing works, and Ethel Pearce. Studied 1937-39 Classics at Trinity College, Cambridge, soon turning to comparative philology and Sanskrit (Bailey). Served during the war 1939-45 in Royal Tank Regiment (1941-42 in Iceland) and General Staff, then returned to Cambridge. Ph.D. 1949. In 1948-51 Lecturer in Phonetics and 1951-55 in Comparative Linguistics, at S.O.A.S., London. In 1952 fieldwork in Rajasthan (dialectology). From 1955 Professor of Comparative Philology and Fellow of Trinity College at Cambridge University. Retired in 1982. Married 1955 Aenea McCallum (d. 1996) and 2002 Diana Stroud.Allen’s interests included Sanskrit and Indian Linguistics, Caucasian languages, Aegean linguistic remains, phonetics, general and comparative linguistics.

Publications: Phonetics in Ancient India. 106 p. London Or. Series 1. L. 1953; Sandhi. The theoretical, phonetic, and historical bases of word-junction in Sanskrit. 114 p. Janua Linguarum Ser. minor 17. the Hague 1962, 2nd ed. 1972.
– “Some Prosodic Aspects of retroflexion and Aspiration in Sanskrit”, BSOAS 13:4, 1950, 939-946; “Retroflexion in Sanskrit: prosodic technique and its relevance to comparative statement”, BSOAS 16, 1954, 556-565.
– “Aspiration in the Hāṛautī nominal”, Studies in Linguistic Analysis. Oxford 1957, 68-86; “Some phonological characteristics of Rājasthānī”, BSOAS 20 (Turner vol.), 1957, 5-12.
– “Relationship in comparative linguistics”,  Tr. Philol. Soc. 1953, 52-108; On the Linguistic Study of Language. Cambridge 1957.
Vox Latina. A guide to the pronunciation of classical Latin. Cambridge  1965; Vox Graeca... Cambridge  1968; Accent and Rhythm: Prosodic Features of Latin and Greek. A Study in Theory and Reconstruction. 14+394 p. Cambr. Studies in Linguistics 12. Cambridge 1973; altogether 6 books, c. 40 articles and a few reviews.
Sources: J. Lyons, Proc. Br. Acad. 138, 2007, 3-36 with photo: Who’s Who 1983, 1994; Wikipedia.

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