LINGUIST List 11.391

Wed Feb 23 2000

All: Tribute to Suzanne Fleischman

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Elizabeth Traugott, Tribute to Suzanne Fleischman

Message 1: Tribute to Suzanne Fleischman

Date: Tue, 22 Feb 2000 21:50:40 -0800 (PST)
From: Elizabeth Traugott <traugottcsli.Stanford.EDU>
Subject: Tribute to Suzanne Fleischman

Many members of the lists on which the death of Suzanne
Fleischman was announced very briefly a few weeks ago have 
asked for further news about her life and work.

The following is based on the University of California, Berkeley,
news release, with information about a memorial to be held on 
March 11th.

Suzanne Fleischman, an internationally recognized professor of 
French and Romance Philology at the University of California, 
Berkeley, died Wednesday February 2nd, aged 51.

She had taught at UC Berkeley since 1975. During her career, 
Fleischman earned numerous honors, including Fulbright, 
Guggenheim, American Council of Learned Societies and French 
government fellowships, and a 1995 medal of honor for
research from the University of Helsinki. She was invited to deliver 
the Zaharoff lectures in French studies at Oxford University last 

Fleischman earned her PhD in Romance Philology at UC Berkeley 
in 1975. She received her MA in Spanish from UC Berkeley in 
1971 and a BA in Spanish from the University of Michigan in 1969.

In addition to dozens of articles, Fleischman wrote and edited five 
books: Cultural and Linguistic Factors in Word Formation: An 
Integrated Approach to the Development of the Suffix '-age', 
University of California Publications in Linguistics 86, Univ. of 
California Press (1987); The Future in Thought and Language: 
Diachronic Evidence from Romance, Cambridge Studies in 
Linguistics 35, Cambridge UP (1982); Tense and Narrativity: From 
Medieval Performance to Modern Fiction, Univ. of Austin Press 
(1990); Discourse Pragmatics and the Verb: The Evidence from 
Romance, ed. with Linda R. Waugh, Routledge, Chapman & Hall 
(1991); Modality in Grammar and Discourse, ed. with Joan L. 
Bybee, Benjamins (1995).

A volume of Fleischman's papers is being prepared by Dan I. 
Slobin and Eve E. Sweetser. 

Colleagues and friends recall Fleischman as an athletic, joyful,
witty friend and a dedicated professor. In the past several
years she devoted her energies to studying, understanding and 
clarifying the relationships between language and disease, after 
being diagnosed in 1993 with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood 
disorder known as MDS. 

At the time of her death, Fleischman was working on a book 
examining the pervasiveness of the military metaphor in the 
language of medicine and illness. People with illnesses are no longer 
the focus of medicine, Fleischman wrote, "but merely the clinical 
stage on which the main protagonists of the drama - the doctors and 
the disease - battle it out". Last December, she gave a lecture on 
language and medicine at a hematology conference at Mount Sinai 
Hospital in New York. 

Contributions to the memorial fund, which the MDS Foundation is 
calling the Suzanne Fleischman Memorial Fund for MDS Patient 
Outreach, may be sent to: The MDS Foundation, Box 477, 464 
Main Street Crosswicks, NJ 08515. Those who wish to direct 
contributions to the new MDS Patient Outreach Fund may specify 
"Suzanne Fleischman Memorial Patient Outreach Fund". Donors 
who wish to earmark contributions for general research into causes 
of and treatment for MDS may specify "MDS General Fund".

According to the MDS Foundation, the Suzanne Fleischman 
Memorial Patient Outreach Fund will provide for patient education 
conferences around the country, support MDS sufferers who cannot 
afford care, and enable the MDS Foundation to reproduce and 
distribute to patients a speech Fleischman gave last April in Prague, 
at the International Symposium on Myelodysplastic Syndromes, in 
which she outlined ways for patients to research and cope with 

A memorial gathering for Suzanne Fleischman, hosted by the 
University of California at Berkeley in conjunction with her family 
and friends, will take place on Saturday, March 11 2000, at 2 p.m. 
in the Great Hall of the Faculty Club on the UC-Berkeley campus.
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