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Edward W. Moser

Edward Moser was born in 1924 in Joliet, Illinois, U.S.A. He finished his studies at Wheaton College in 1948 after serving in the U.S. navy during World War II. He married Mary Beck in 1946, and studied descriptive linguistics with her at the Summer Institute of Linguistics program at the University of Oklahoma. In 1951 they went to live in the state of Sonora, Mexico, to learn the Seri language.

photo: Ed Moser
photo: Ed Moser with Seri children

During the twenty-five years after that date, he completed his master's degree in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania and used his linguistic abilities to learn the Seri language well and collect cultural information.


He spent many summers at the University of North Dakota giving linguistics courses. Together with his wife and various Seri coworkers (especially Roberto Herrera Marcos) and under the auspices of the Summer Institute of Linguistics and the Secretaría de Educación Pública, he did the first linguistic analysis of the Seri language and developed an orthography to represent it adequately. His interest in the well-being of the Seri people and in their rich culture and history was unflagging up until his sudden and unexpected death in 1976.