Daniel Kane (linguist)
Daniel Kane (Kāng Dān: 康丹) was born in 1948 in Melbourne. Bereaved of his father when young, circumstances constrained him to cut his education short and enter the work force at 15. He left school and joined a bank, working as a teller. There he discovered that he had a talent for languages. Melbourne was a magnet for immigrants from over the world and he found that when they came into the bank, with little effort he could communicate with them. He undertook further education in his spare time and matriculated to Melbourne University with high honours in several languages.
He took a First Class Honours degree there in 1971, majoring in Chinese and was granted a PhD scholarship to the ANU. His Ph.D. was conferred in 1975 with a thesis on the Jurchen language a Tungusic language related to Manchu spoken during the Jin dynasty in North China. He received an M.A. in Asian Studies from the Australian National University in 1976.
Parallel to his academic career, Kane has also had a career in diplomacy. He joined the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs in 1976 and was posted to Beijing during the early part of the reform period and particularly the period of the Democracy Wall. He was also Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing during the 1990s.
Academically he was lecturer in Chinese at the University of Melbourne in 1981 and visiting scholar at the Department of Chinese at Peking University in 1988 and 1993. Since 1997 he has been Professor of Chinese at Macquarie University in Sydney.
He was widowed in 2010 when his wife, the Shanghai scholar of Qing history and Chinese modernization, Yè Xiǎoqīng (葉曉青), died of cancer, after risking her initial recovery from an early diagnosis of cancer to bear their son Ian (易安 (Yìān).
Books by Daniel Kane
- Daniel Kane 1989. The Sino-Jurchen Vocabulary of the Bureau of Interpreters. (Uralic and Altaic Series, vol. 153). Indiana University, Research Institute for Inner Asian Studies. Bloomington, Indiana. ISBN 0-933070-23-3.
- Daniel Kane 2009. The Kitan Language and Script (Handbook of Oriental Studies series, Section 8: Uralic & Central Asian Studies). Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-16829-9.
- Kane, Daniel. 1997. "Language Death and Language Revivalism the Case of Manchu". Central Asiatic Journal 41 (2). Harrassowitz Verlag: 231–49. https://www.jstor.org/stable/41928113.
- Daniel Kane 2006. The Chinese Language: Its History and Current Usage. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3853-4, ISBN 978-0-8048-3853-5.
- Daniel Kane, The Khitan Language and Script, Brill, 2009 p.xii
- Daniel Kane and Hamish McDonald, An intellectual voice that connected East and West, Sydney Morning Herald, 10 July 2010.