LORIMER, David Lockhart Robertson

LORIMER, David Lockhart Robertson. Dundee 24.12.1876 — Hatfield, Hertfordshire 25.2.1962. British (Scottish) Colonial Officer, Linguist and Indo-Iranian Scholar. Lieutenant-colonel. Son of Rev. Robert L. (1840–1925) and Isabella Lockhart Robinson (1849–1931), brother of —> J.G.L., F.M.G.L., —> Emilia H.L.L.,also of  Elizabeth Hilda Lockhart L. (1873–1954) and William Laughten L. (1885–1967), both noted classical scholars. Educated at Dundee High School and Fettes College, then studies at Trinity College, Oxford. He joined the army in 1896 and served in Q.V.O. Corps of Guides and in Khyber Rifles. From 1903 in Indian Political Department. In 1912-14 Consul in Kerman, then Political Agent in Chitral. During the WW I served in Indian Expeditionary Force in Mesopotamia, which earned him C.I.E. in 1917. In 1920 returned to India, as Political Agent in Gilgit. In 1927 retired from Political service. In 1910 married Emily Overend (—> E. Lorimer), who became his helper and collaborator, one adopted daughter.

Lorimer became interested in languages and customs early in his career. During his Gilgit years in the 1920s he was able to study Khowar, Shina, and Burushaski. In 1934-35 he and his wife conducted field-work in Hunza with a scholarship of Leverhulme Research Fellowship. He has been described as skilled linguist, whose weak point was in phonetics. In addition to Indo-Iranian languages he was interested in Armenian.

Publications: Syntax of Colloquial Pashtu: with chapters on the Persian and Indian elements in the modern language. 20+377 p. Oxford 1915.

Articles of Gabri dialect of Persian in JRAS 1916, 423-489 & JRAS 1928, 288-319

Transl. with E. Lorimer: Persian Tales. 10+354 p. L. 1919.

The Phonology of Bakhtiari, Badakshani and Madaglashti Dialects of Modern Persian. 11+205 p. Prize Publ. Fund 6. L. 1922.

Articles on Shina (on phonology in JRAS 1924, 5-42 & 177-212; on conjugation BSOS 1924, 467-493 & JRAS 1927, 717-764); “Supernatural in the popular belief of the Gilgit Region”, JRAS 1929, 507-536.

The Burushaski Language. 1. Introduction and Grammar. 63+464 p. Oslo 1935; 2. Texts and transl. 7+418 p. Oslo 1935; 3. Vocabularies and Index. 16+547 p. Oslo 1938.

– Articles on Burushaski, e.g. “Burushaski and its alien neighbours (problems in linguistic contagion)”, TrPhilolSoc 1937, 6-32.

The Ḍumāki Language: outlines of the speech of the Ḍoma, or Bērīcho, of Hunza. 16+244 p. Nijmegen 1939.

– Wakhi Language. 1-2. ???+163 p. L. 1958.

Werchikwar–English Vocabulary. 12+391 p. Oslo 1962.

– Further articles on Iranian and Hindukush languages in JRAS, BSOAS, etc.

Materialien zur Ethnographie von Dardistan (Pakistan). Aus dem nachgelassenen Aufzeichnungen von D. L. R. Lorimer hrsg. von I. Müller-Stellrecht. Bergvölker im Hindukusch und Karakorum 3:1-3. Graz. Teil 1. Hunza. 394 p. 1979. Teil 2-3. Gilgit, Chitral und Yasin. 261 p. 1980.

Sources: D. Mackenzie, JRAS 1962, 181f.; Wikipedia.

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