[Corpora-List] Obituary: John McH. Sinclair

Dan Tufis tufis at racai.ro
Thu Mar 15 15:49:02 CET 2007

This is shocking, a terrible loss. John was one of the most outstanding
scholars I ever met, with a huge impact on what is nowadays the corpus
linguistics. He was a fascinating speaker, a living encyclopaedia and an
unparalleled story teller. His wonderful sense of humour was rivalled only
by his generosity. I was one of the privileged who worked with him during
the TELRI project which he turned into a large family and a friendly
academic community. Many colleagues from the CEE countries started their
international careers in TELRI, under the patronage of John and, several of
them are now well established scientists. John helped us tremendously and he
will be always in our hearts since the seeds he spread and the tracks he
left will never be forgotten.
Our deepest sympathy and condolences to Elena and children.
Dan Tufis

> -----Original Message-----

> From: owner-corpora at lists.uib.no [mailto:owner-corpora at lists.uib.no] On

> Behalf Of Ute Römer

> Sent: 14 martie 2007 17:44


> Subject: [Corpora-List] Obituary: John McH. Sinclair



> On behalf of Elena Tognini Bonelli






> Yesterday was a very sad day for the world of linguistics. John Sinclair

> (b.

> 14 June 1933) died at his home in Florence, aged 73. He will be deeply

> missed by his family, his colleagues and his many friends. His death is a

> terrible loss to everyone who knew him. Friends and colleagues are welcome

> to the interment of the urn which will be at the Cimitero degli Inglesi in

> Florence on 28 March at 3.30pm.


> John was an outstanding scholar, a first-generation modern corpus linguist

> and clearly one of the most open-minded and original thinkers in the

> field.

> He was Professor of Modern English Language at the University of

> Birmingham

> for most of his career and founder of the ground-breaking COBUILD project

> in

> lexical computing which revolutionised lexicography in the 1980s and

> resulted in a new generation of corpus-driven dictionaries and reference

> materials for English language learners. After his retirement from

> Birmingham John moved to Italy where he became President of the Tuscan

> Word

> Centre, an association devoted to promoting the scientific study of

> language. On the short intensive courses that the Tuscan Word Centre

> offered, John very generously shared his original ideas about language and

> linguistics with generations of younger scholars, introduced numerous

> students to the fascinating world of corpora and inspired many new ideas

> for

> future research in linguistics. He was an Honorary Life Member of the

> Linguistics Association of Great Britain and a member of the Academia

> Europaea. John held an Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy from the

> University

> of Gothenburg, and Honorary Professorships in the Universities of Jiao

> Tong,

> Shangai and Glasgow.


> He is gone now and it will be very hard to get used to it. John's last

> email

> to me just a couple of days ago ended "Very brief note tonight; more to

> follow." I will miss him.


> Ute




> ************************************************************


> Dr. Ute Römer

> English Department

> Leibniz University of Hanover

> Königsworther Platz 1

> 30167 Hannover

> Germany






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