Lance, Donald

Preferred Name
Lance, Donald
Library of Congress Naming Authority
Lance, Donald M. [info:lc/authorities/names/n85150093]
Entity Date
1931 - 2002

Donald M. Lance was born in Gainesville, Texas, to Calvin and Ola Miller Lance. He received a bachelor’s degree in English education from Texas A&M in 1952. At the University of Texas at Austin, he received master’s degrees in English and Spanish in 1962 and doctorate in English language and linguistics in 1968. He taught high school English and Spanish in Corpus Christi for several years before becoming a University of Missouri English professor.
Lance taught at MU for 25 years, from 1969 to 1994. His research interests included regional dialects in Missouri and the United States, teaching English as a second language, Black English, the understanding of discourse, sex-linked language differences, bilingual speech, and toponymy (especially Missouri). He wrote and published numerous articles and contributed to and co-edited the important anthology Language Variation in North American English (1993) with Wayne Glowka. In 1984 and 1985, as a Fulbright exchange scholar, he taught at the University of the Saar in West Germany.
Lance retired from teaching in 1994, but remained active with several professional organizations until his death. Throughout his career, he was especially involved with the American Dialect Society, the American Name Society, the Council of Geographic Names Authorities, Midwest Teachers of English as a Second Language, and the Missouri Folklore Society. He served as an officer for many of these organizations and assisted with organizing conferences and other events in Missouri.
Lance obtained some local notoriety in 1999, when police required assistance to identify “Sarah Gray,” an amnesiac with no recollection of her past. By analyzing her dialect, Lance was able to help return her to her home in Pennsylvania. He was also known as an authority on the pronunciation of “Missouri.” He died in 2002.

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