DeFrancis, John (1911-2009)
(1,810 words)

John DeFrancis (Bridgeport, Connecticut, August 31, 1911 – Honolulu, Hawai’i, January 2, 2009) was a renowned teacher and linguist of Chinese. He was also a socially committed and politically active individual who was unusually adventurous and gregarious. DeFrancis’s father was a laborer and his mother was illiterate, the memory of which later spurred him to sympathize with Chinese workers and peasants who could not read and write.

DeFrancis’s career as a teacher and scholar of Chinese may be divided into four stages: student, teacher, researcher, and lexicogra…

Cite this page
Victor MAIR, “DeFrancis, John (1911-2009)”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 27 March 2017 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_000038>
First published online: 2015



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