Paul William Friedrich (October 22, 1927 – August 11, 2016) was an American anthropologist, linguist, poet, and Professor of Social Thought at the University of Chicago. He studied at Harvard with Roman Jakobson, and received his Ph.D. from Yale under the supervision of Sidney Mintz. He specialized in Slavic languages and literature, and in the ethnographic and linguistic study of the Purépecha people of Western Mexico, as well as in the role of poetics and aesthetics in creating linguistic and discursive patterns. Among his best known works were Agrarian Revolt in a Mexican Village (1970; 1977), The Princes of Naranja: An Essay in Anthrohistorical Method (1987), both ethnographic works describing local politics in a small community in the Mexican state of Michoacan. And in linguistics his works The Tarascan Suffixes of Locative Space: Meaning and Morphotactics (1971) and A Phonology of Tarascan (1973) were among the most detailed as well as earliest modern linguistic of the Purépecha language. In 2005, his former students honored him with a festschrift titled Language, Culture and the Individual: A Tribute to Paul Friedrich.[1] In 2007 Yale University awarded Friedrich with the Wilbur Cross Medal.[2][3] A prolific poet, he also published seven collections of poems, some of them focusing on the haiku form.[4] He is the father of filmmaker Su Friedrich.[5]

Selected publications



  1. ^ O'Neil, Catherine; Scoggin, Mary; Tuite, Kevin, eds. (2006). Language, Culture and the Individual. A Tribute to Paul Friedrich. Munich: Lincom Europa.
  2. ^ Silverstein, Michael. "Paul W. Friedrich, In Memoriam". Archived from the original on 8 October 2016.
  3. ^ Peters, Mark (9 August 2016). "Paul W. Friedrich, anthropologist and linguist, 1927-2016". University of Chicago News. Archived from the original on 3 November 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2020.
  4. ^ Friedrich, Paul; Pesmen, Dale (2014). "A Conversation with Paul Friedrich". Annual Review of Anthropology. 43 (1): 15–26. doi:10.1146/annurev-anthro-102313-025821.
  5. ^ "Midlife Fury, Glowing in Glorious Red". New York Times. 24 September 2006.