Eugénie Henderson (1914-1989) was one of Britain’s best-known phoneticians and an expert on the languages of South-East Asia. Her academic career began at University College London under Professor Daniel Jones, who suggested that she investigate the phonetics of Siamese (Thai). From this point, Henderson would become an expert in the languages of Burma, Siam and Indo-China. In 1936, she became advisor to the BBC on the pronunciation of proper names in foreign languages.

After two years on the staff at UCL, in 1942 Henderson was appointed Lecturer in Phonetics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, SOAS, under J.R. Firth. Henderson adopted Firth’s theory of Prosodic Analysis and played an important role in its development. Her work on South-East Asian languages elegantly shows how Prosodic Analysis could provide a much more insightful account of their sound structure than phonemics could. She is attributed with some of the more coherent explanations of Firthian theory and her 'Prosodies in Siamese: A study in synthesis' (1949) has long been recognised as one of the most thorough and revealing studies in Prosodic Analysis that we have.

An extensive collection of Henderson’s work, including that on the phonology of South-East Asian languages, can be found in the Archive.