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KU professor documented Kaw language


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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Leaders of the Kaw Nation say Robert Rankin, a University of Kansas linguistics professor who died recently, will be remembered for his efforts to document and preserve the Kaw language.

Jim Pepper Henry, a Kaw tribal member who is now director and CEO of the Heard Museum of Native Cultures and Art in Phoenix, told The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1kND2Fz ) if it wasn't for Rankin, the tribe wouldn't have its language.

The Bowen Donaldson funeral home in Tifton, Ga., where Rankin grew up, says Rankin died Feb. 24 at a Kansas City hospice. He was 75.

Rankin, who taught at the University of Kansas from 1969 through 2005, produced several tapes of remaining speakers in the Kaw language. The tapes were digitized and converted to compact discs in 1996.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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