Master of Arts, University Edinburgh, Scotland, 1951. Doctor of Philosophy, University Edinburgh, Scotland, 1959. Doctor of Letters (honorary), University Edinburgh, 1993.
Lecturer, U. Edinburgh, 1953-1961; lecturer, U. Ibadan, Nigeria, 1959-1960; research fellow, West African Langs. Survey, Nigeria, 1961-1962; assistant professor phonetics, University of California at Los Angeles, 1962-1963; associate professor, University of California at Los Angeles, 1963-1965; professor, University of California at Los Angeles, 1965-1991; professor emeritus, University of California at Los Angeles, 1991; research linguist, University of California at Los Angeles, since 1991; team leader, East African Survey Language Use and Language Teaching, Uganda, 1968.
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Served with British Army, 1943-1947. Fellow Acoustical Society of America (Silver Speech Communications medal 1994), American Speech and Hearing Association, American Academy Arts and Sciences, American Speech Language and Hearing Association. Member Linguistic Society of America (president 1978), International Phonetic Association (president 1986-1991).
Married Jennifer Macdonald, December 19, 1953. Children: Lise, Thegn, Katie.