Obituary: John McH. Sinclair (Martin Warren)

Martin Warren [ENGL] egwarren at
Mon Mar 19 03:39:00 CET 2007

Ute Many thanks for your moving tribute to John on behalf of Elena. I just felt that I wanted to write something of my own very fond memories of John as both his student and friend for many years.In 1982, along with others (Chris Greaves, Martin Hewings, Ken Hyland, Murray Knowles, to name a few), I was very fortunate to be admitted to an innovative MA programme (devised by John, of course) hosted by the University of Birmingham and based in Malaysia. Unusually, the MA was assessed solely by means of a dissertation and, by chance, John was my supervisor. I was to be his student for many more years after he encouraged me to continue my studies. John was incredibly kind, patient and supportive of his students and their research. His generosity with his ideas is legendary, and what marvellous ideas he had for us to explore. Those of us who had the privilege of studying with John, or who worked with him, can all attest to his genius. This term is over-used, but I don’t know how else to describe his phenomenal intellect and his unending stream of original ideas. In more recent years, John has been very supportive of our small research group here in Hong Kong (comprising Winnie Cheng, Chris Greaves and I) and our corpus work looking at spoken language and phraseology. We will never forget the TWC workshops in 2005 and 2006 hosted by John and Elena - what a joy it was for all of us to be able to learn first-hand from John. Around the world there will be so many now feeling the pain of this sad loss. The thoughts of all of us are with Elena and the children, and the whole of John’s family. Martin Warren

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