Edward Klima Photo

Edward Klima

Born: Jun 21, 1931

Death: Sep 25, 2008

Birthplace: Cleveland

Nationality: United States

Edward Klima

Date of Birth : Jun 21, 1931
Date of Death : Sep 25, 2008
Birth Place : Cleveland

Edward S. Klima was an eminent linguist who specialized in the study of sign languages. Klima's work was heavily influenced by Noam Chomsky's then-revolutionary theory of the biological basis of linguistics, and applied that analysis to sign languages. Klima, much of whose work was in collaboration with his wife, Ursula Bellugi, was among the first to prove that sign languages are complete languages and have complex grammars that have all the features of grammars of oral languages. Widespread recognition of this fact was one of the catalysts to the cultural changes in and towards the deaf community in favor of encouraging the use sign language, which had often been discouraged in favor of lip reading in the past. Klima studied linguistics at Dartmouth College, earning his bachelor's degree in 1953. Two years later, he received a masters in the same subject from Harvard University. Starting in 1957, Klima worked as an Instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under Noam Chomsky. After earning his Ph.D in linguistics from Harvard University in 1965, he joined the linguistics department at the University of California, San Diego.

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