LINGUIST List 11.160

Tue Jan 25 2000

All: Obituary: Professor Victoria A. Fromkin

Editor for this issue: Lydia Grebenyova <>


  1. Patrick Manalastas, Obituary: Professor Victoria A. Fromkin

Message 1: Obituary: Professor Victoria A. Fromkin

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 13:52:25 -0800
From: Patrick Manalastas <pmanalasHUMnet.UCLA.EDU>
Subject: Obituary: Professor Victoria A. Fromkin

 Victoria A. Fromkin, an internationally renowned scholar of linguistics and
UCLA professor, died Jan. 19 at age 76.
Dr. Fromkin, a professor emeritus, was a scholar in a wide array of fields
within linguistics, including the brain and language, the linguistic
significance of speech errors, phonetics, and psycholinguistics. She
compiled a major collection of speech errors and slips of the tongue produced
spontaneously in normal conversation and by brain-damaged patients to better
understand the mental representation of language.
Among her many publications, Dr. Fromkin is the senior co-author of the
best-selling textbook, "An Introduction to Language," which has been
translated into six languages; and editor of the recently published anthology,
"Linguistics: An Introduction to Linguistic Theory."
Dr. Fromkin earned her Ph.D. in linguistics from UCLA in 1965, and joined
UCLA's faculty in linguistics the same year. She served as department chair
from 1973 to 1977, and as dean of the university's graduate division from 1979
to 1989. Her appointment as vice chancellor of graduate programs (1980 to
1989) made her the first woman to achieve the rank of vice chancellor or higher in
the University of California system to that time.

 "The UCLA community has lost a beloved teacher and eminent scholar," said
UCLA Chancellor Albert Carnesale. "Professor Fromkin's unbounded commitment to her
students, to her colleagues, and to the welfare of UCLA will remain an
inspiration to all who had the privilege of knowing her and learning from
 "Victoria Fromkin was a scholar of great distinction, who contributed
enormously not only to the field of linguistics, but also to the greatness of
UCLA," said Brian Copenhaver, Provost of UCLA's College of Letters and
 "She did her graduate work at UCLA, and spent her distinguished career here;
UCLA is a better university because of her devotion to the university and her
excellence as a scholar, teacher and public servant."

 "Vicki was respected enormously," said Edward Keenan, chair of UCLA's
linguistics department and her long-time colleague. "She was generous,
compassionate, warm, feisty, dynamic, candid - and above all, concerned. She
became a role model for many of us who don't usually think we need one. Even
years after she retired, she told me more useful information about the
university than any other single person."
 Dr. Fromkin won many honors for her scholarship and teaching. She was elected
into the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, became president of the
Linguistic Society of America, and chair of the Board of Governors of the
Academy of Aphasia. She was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and
Sciences, the New York Academy of Science, the Acoustical Society of America,
the American Psychological Society, and the American Association for the
Advancement of Science (AAAS). She was a recipient of UCLA's Harvey L. Eby
Award for the Art of Teaching and the UCLA Alumni Association's Professional
Achievement Award. She served as chair of the AAAS' section on linguistics and
the language sciences, and was a member of the executive board of the
Permanent International Committee of Linguists - the premier international
scholarly organization of linguists. In addition, she was the first woman
president of the prestigious Association of Graduate Schools in the American
Association of Universities. As a scholar, she was invited to lecture at
universities throughout the world, including Oxford and Cambridge.

 She is survived by her husband, Dr. Jack Fromkin. He requests that in lieu of
flowers, donations be made to the UCLA Foundation/Mark Fromkin Memorial Fund,
and sent to Tim Kawahara, UCLA Alumni Association, James West Alumni Center,
Los Angeles 90095-1397. The fund benefits underrepresented entering freshmen
who demonstrate exceptional merit and financial need.
A memorial service for Dr. Fromkin is scheduled for Sunday Feb. 6, from 2-4
p.m., at UCLA's Faculty Center. For more information, please contact the
linguistics department at (310) 825-0634.
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