In memoriam: Barbara Pritchard Harris


Barbara Pritchard Harris, Professor Emeritus, Department of Linguistics, passed away on April 4, 2014.

Barbara was born and raised in Guelph, Ontario. She earned her B.A. (1954) from Carleton University after which she worked in a civilian position for the RCMP in Ottawa until 1960. In the early 1960's, Barbara moved to Victoria, where she taught French at Norfolk House School until 1966. Her love of words brought her to Linguistics at UVic where she earned her M.A. (1972) and her Ph.D. (1975). In the 1970's and 1980's she taught a variety of courses in the Linguistics department and was appointed Assistant Professor in 1981.

Barbara's interest in words led her to study Canadian English and Chinook Jargon. She also enjoyed working as an editor of the Gage Canadian Dictionary (1997). Barbara's time with the RCMP inspired her to weave a spy story into her grammar course at UVic where the main character, Aunt Agatha, travelled the world in pursuit of a villain. Students in the course had to wait for the final exam to learn how the story ended!

Barbara was also an advocate for the BC Transplant Society, having received a liver transplant in 1991.

In the Department of Linguistics, Barbara served as graduate advisor for many years and as the department chair before retiring in 2000. Barbara was a gifted teacher who enjoyed the daily interactions with colleagues and students alike. She will be fondly remembered by all who knew her.

A memorial service was held at the UVic Interfaith Chapel on May 23 followed by a reception at the University Club.

—Submitted by Dr. Judith A. Nylvek, Department of Linguistics


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Keywords: in memoriam, linguistics

People: Barbara Harris

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