Nora England

Posted: February 2022

We regret to report the death of longtime LSA member and fellow Nora England (1946-2022). England first joined the LSA in 1973 and has been a life member for many years. England was also the recipient of the LSA’s Kenneth Hale Award in 2016. We share the following notice provided by her colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin:

"At the time of her death, Nora was the longtime graduate advisor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin. She was the Dallas TACA Centennial Professor in the Humanities and the director of the Center for Indigenous Languages of Latin America.

Nora was a pioneer in our discipline’s efforts to describe, document, and defend the world’s endangered languages. In her many years working on Mayan languages, she worked with and for those communities. For this she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship while she was a faculty member at the University of Iowa. After she joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in 2001, she was fundamental to their efforts to train native speaker linguists of Indigenous languages of the Americas, including the many Indigenous scholars who have earned their doctorates at UT.

Two of Nora's key publications are her 1983 "Grammar of Mam, A Mayan Language" (UT Press) and a 2017 handbook on "The Mayan Languages" (Taylor & Francis) that she coedited with Judith Aissen and Roberto Zavala Maldonado.

The only silver lining to this is that, despite her recent struggles with advanced cancer, she was herself to the end: lucid, sharp-tongued, caring, feisty, and stalwart. To the end she did what she loved; she taught her last class on Monday, January 24th. That class was her favorite lecture, a discussion of her fieldwork in Guatemala. Nora’s passing leaves a huge hole in our hearts, in our department, and in our profession of linguistics.”