Memorial to Dr Paulette Hopple

Paulette Hopple
1948-2008

Dr Hopple

Born in Ogden, Utah, September 24, 1948 to Paul and Floy Hopple. Passed away aged 60 on Wednesday, December 18, 2008, in the city of Kunming, Yunnan Province, China, at the end of a six week period doing what she was well-trained for and excited to pursue: language research and training toward development of Palaungic languages in the China-Myanmar-Thailand region. She received a BA from California State University - San Jose (1975) and an MA in Humanities (Linguistics) at the University of Texas, Arlington (1976). She took language courses at SOAS, University of London, England (1978-79) and as a Colombo Plan Scholar studied Burma languages and linguistics at the University of Rangoon (1980-81). She received a PhD in Humanities (Linguistics) from the University of Texas - Arlington (2003) with a dissertation on "The structure of nominalization in Burmese".
Paulette at work
In Thailand she was instrumental in the establishment and development of the graduate linguistics program at Payap University (1988-89). She served as Director of the SIL Mainland Southeast Asia Group (MSEAG) from May 1989 to March 1996. During this time she also taught Linguistics at Payap University in Chiang Mai. Over the years she had pursued the study of Plang and Wa, both Palaungic languages in northern Thailand and neighboring countries.

In 1989 she was diagnosed with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease. The disease had already destroyed some of her lung tissue which had to be removed. In the late 1990’s while studying at the University of Texas she struggled with her health, experiencing considerable pain and difficulty moving about from a resurgence of the disease. She regained her strength and continued in her vital role for another decade. In recent years Paulette had a particular interest in the socio-linguistic situation of Palaungic languages and pursued research on the many small language groups with her characteristic vigor and curiosity.

In all her work she exhibited a deep heart response to the wonderful love of the Heavenly Father, and a delight at His creation as expressed in language.

 Paulette again at work

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