Harry Leonard Shorto

Portrait of Harry Leonard  Shorto

Harry Leonard Shorto (19 Sep 191930 July 1995) was a British philologist and linguist who specialized on the Mon language and Mon-Khmer studies, teaching at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, GB, until he retired in 1984.

While he was attending Cambridge University, he joined the British Armed Forces at the start of World War II, and was based in Burma as a British Intelligence officer, there developing his interest in Mon and Mon-Khmer languages.

After publishing several studies and a Dictionary of Spoken Mon (1962), he worked on the monumental — 2,246 etymologies with almost 30,000 lexical citations — Mon-Khmer Comparative Dictionary (ed. Paul J. Sidwell, Doug Cooper, and Christian Bauer, Pacific Linguistics, Canberra: Australian National University, 2006) which he intended to publish in 1980s but was rediscovered by his daughter Anna after his death and published only in 2006. was rediscovered by his daughter Anna, and was published only in 2006. The dictionary became the main reference work in Mon-Khmer comparative studies since Wilhelm Schmidt’s contribution in 1905 and 1906