[Daily article] January 4: Lilias Armstrong

Lilias Armstrong (1882–1937) was an English phonetician. Her book on
English intonation, written with Ida C. Ward, was in print for fifty
years. She also provided some of the first detailed descriptions of tone
in Somali and Kikuyu. Armstrong grew up in Northern England. She
graduated from the University of Leeds, where she studied French and
Latin. She taught French in an elementary school in the London suburbs
before joining the University College Phonetics Department, headed by
Daniel Jones, where she was eventually appointed as a reader. Her works
include the 1926 book A Handbook of English Intonation (co-written with
Ward), the 1934 paper “The Phonetic Structure of Somali”, and the book
The Phonetic and Tonal Structure of Kikuyu, published posthumously in
1940. She was the subeditor of the International Phonetic Association’s
journal Le Maître Phonétique for more than a decade, and was praised
in her day for her teaching. Jones wrote in his obituary of her that she
was “one of the finest phoneticians in the world”.

Read more:

Today’s selected anniversaries:


After having been invested as Prince of Wallachia, Constantine
Hangerli arrived in Bucharest to assume the throne.


Sino-French War: French troops under General François Oscar de
Négrier defeated a numerically superior Qing Chinese force at Núi Bop
in northern Vietnam.


The Boy Scout Association was incorporated throughout the then
British Empire by royal charter.


Burma achieved independence from the British Empire, with Sao
Shwe Thaik as its first president.


Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the United States House of
Representatives, becoming the highest-ranking woman in the history of
the U.S. government.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

1. A flower, especially one indicating that a fruit tree is fruiting;
(collectively) a mass of such flowers.
2. The state or season of producing such flowers.
3. (figuratively) A blooming period or stage of development; something
lovely that gives rich promise.
4. The colour of a horse that has white hairs intermixed with sorrel and
bay hairs.
5. (intransitive) To have, or open into, blossoms; to bloom.
6. (intransitive) To begin to thrive or flourish.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  I can calculate the motions of the heavenly bodies, but not the
madness of the people.  
–Isaac Newton

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