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Clement Martyn Doke
1893 to 1980
Baptist
South Africa

Clement Doke was a pioneer scholar of Bantu linguistics. Doke was born in Bristol, England, grew up in New Zealand, and later moved to South Africa. In 1914 he was one of the founders of the Baptist Mission in Lambaland in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). As a result of his efforts to learn Lamba, he became convinced of the need to develop a framework that described Bantu languages in terms of their own internal structure; thus began a career in Bantu linguistics. Forced by illness to leave the mission field in 1920, he taught at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, from 1923 to 1953. In addition to more than 150 publications on Bantu linguistics, Doke edited the South African Baptist for 26 years, served as president of the Baptist Assembly in 1949, and was translater of the Bible into Lamba.

Philip C. Stine


Bibliography:

African Studies 30, nos. 3 and 4 (1971) contain a tribute to Doke and a list of his publications. Desmond T. Cole, African Studies 39, no. 1 (1980) (obit.); G. Fortune, "Clement Martyn Doke: A Biographical and Bibliographical Sketch," in Catalogue of the C. M. Doke Collection on African Languages in the Library of the University of Rhodesia (contains an extensive catalog of Doke's books and MSS). Wilma Meier, ed., Bibliographie afrikanischer Sprachen (1984; contains a language-related bibliography).


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.