In Memoriam: F.K. Lehman: Biography

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F. K. L. Chit Hlaing (F. Kris Lehman), (PhD in Anthropology and Linguistics, Columbia University; BA in Mathematics, NYU) is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Cognitive Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (taught 1952–2009). His academic specialities include: mathematical applications to ethnography, linguistics, and cognitive science. He has conducted research mainly in Burma, China and Northern Thailand, also NE India, with Chin-Mizo, Shan, Kayah, Wa, Nn Thai, Kachin, and Burman peoples and languages. Sayagyi Chit Hlaing's analytic work in linguistics is mainly on formal syntax-semantics in Burmese, Hakha Chin, Mizo, and Kcho (Tibeto-Burman family), and on Shan (Tai language); analytic work in anthropology, structure of cultural-conceptual systems, e.g., kinship, religion, etc.; and regional intergroup sociopolitical relations and ethnicity.

(Taken from the Burma Studies Foundation website)


"F. K. Lehman, (F. K. L. U Chit Hlaing) retired in 2009 at the age of eighty-five from the University of Illinois where he had taught since 1959 and mentored dozens of doctoral students in anthropology, Asian studies, linguistics, and Buddhist studies. His publications include more than sixty articles and his classic study tribal kinship systems, The Structure of Chin Society (University of Illinois Press, 1963 and 1981)."

From The Journal of Burma Studies, Volume 15.1, 2001

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Video interview with Dr. Lehman from 2003 wherein he discusses living in Burma, his early impressions of the country, his work among the Kachin people, and his visit to China. (For more about this video, click here)