Pharies, David (Arnold) 1951-

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PHARIES, David (Arnold) 1951-

PERSONAL:

Male. Born November 7, 1951, in Level-land, TX; son of Roy Edward and Emma Maury (Giles) Pharies; married Elizabeth Jean Harrington, June 16, 1973; children: Stefan, Alice, Hilary. Education: Austin College, A.B., 1973; University of California—Berkeley, Ph.D., 1979.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Department of Romance Languages, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Arizona State University, Tempe, visiting assistant professor, 1979-80; University of Florida, Gainesville, assistant professor, 1980-86, professor of Spanish and Romance historical linguistics, 1986—.

WRITINGS:

Charles S. Pierce and the Linguistic Sign, John Benjamins (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1985.

Structure and Analogy in the Playful Lexicon of Spanish, Niemeyer (Tübingen, Germany), 1986.

The Origin and Development of the Ibero-Romancenc/-ng Suffixes, Niemeyer (Tübingen, Germany), 1990.

Bibliography of Latin and Ibero-Romance Suffixation, Medieval Seminary of Hispanic Studies (Madison, WI), 1994.

University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary, 5th edition, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 2002.

Diccionario etimológico de los españoles y de otros elementos finales, Gredos (Madrid, Spain), 2002.

Contributor of articles to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

An internationally renowned expert in the morphology of Hispanic languages, David Pharies was tapped to oversee the fifth edition of the University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary, one of the most popular and most respected of the Spanish-English dictionaries. He has also produced a major contribution to Spanish etymology, the Diccionario etimológico de los españoles y de otros elementos finales, published in Spain.

Much of Pharies' work has focused on the historical development of Spanish and other Ibero-Romance languages. In Structure and Analogy in the Playful Lexicon of Spanish, he explores some of the sociological aspects of language formation. "One of the main messages of [Pharies'] … excellent and original book is that not all linguistic signs are arbitrary. Although he naturally accepts that linguistic signs are conventional, [Pharies] … produces compelling evidence that certain broad structural properties of words are universally associated with extra-linguistic realities," concluded Romance Philology contributor Ralph Penny. Therefore, words containing repeating elements are associated with activities involving repetition, and rhyming phrases can indicate alternating processes in the real world. Pharies identifies ten "templates" associated with various playful words or expressions, as well as the changes some words have undergone in order to conform to these patterns. For Penny, "the great merit of [Pharies'] … book is that it brings order (where none existed before) into the history of many previously opaque expressions."

In 1990, Pharies published The Origin and Development of the Ibero-Romance-nc/-ng Suffixes. "In this major contribution to the history of a family of suffixes in Ibero-Romance, P. addresses the problem of the genetic relatedness and developmental convergence of a group of suffixes characterized by a 'consonantal pillar' (nasal plus velar stop)," explained Romance Philology contributor Brenda Laca. "The study, while offering a good account of Catalan, Portuguese, and Galician, is heavily slanted toward Spanish. This may be due to the characteristically Hispanic nature of some of the suffixes and to the simple fact that, on the whole, much more is known about Spanish than about the other languages," Laca noted. According to Hispanic Review contributor S. N. Dworkin, "Pharies attacks the problems at issue with the data-intensive methodology he used so effectively in his well-received Structure and Analogy in the Playful Lexicon of Spanish." Dworkin concluded, "Pharies' monograph is a solid contribution to Hispanic linguistics both for its diachronic study of the-VnK-suffixes and for its methodological insights."

Pharies' broad knowledge of Iberian languages and dialects, and the ways those dialects grow and change, served him well in editing 2002's University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary, the first new edition of that book in fifteen years. "While the task of cataloguing regionalisms across Latin America is daunting, this dictionary does capture much of its slang, and even sometimes off-color usage, making the book as warm and easy-going as its typeface," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2003, Mary Ellen Quinn, review of University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary, p. 1010.

Choice, February, 2003, M. S. Brown-Sica, review of University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary, p. 957.

Hispanic Review, spring, 1991, S. N. Dworkin, review of The Origin and Development of the Ibero-Romance-nc/-ng Suffixes, p. 212.

Publishers Weekly, July, 29, 2002, review of University of Chicago Spanish Dictionary, p. 67.

Romance Philology, May, 1989, Ralph Penny, review of Structure and Analogy in the Playful Lexicon of Spanish, pp. 472-475; May, 1993, Brenda Laca, review of The Origin and Development of the Ibero-Romance-nc/-ng Suffixes, pp. 475-479.*