LINGUIST List 12.180

Wed Jan 24 2001

All: Andreas Blank, 1961-2001

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  1. Richard Waltereit, Obituary: Andreas Blank

Message 1: Obituary: Andreas Blank

Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 18:44:03 +0100
From: Richard Waltereit <>
Subject: Obituary: Andreas Blank

Andreas Blank, Professor of Romance Linguistics at the University of
Marburg (Germany), died of a cancer on January 20, 2001. He was not even
forty years old. His work on historical semantics, especially his book
"Prinzipien des lexikalischen Bedeutungswandels" (T�bingen: Niemeyer,
1997), which originated from his 1996 habilitation thesis, provides the
first comprehensive theory of semantic change since Stephen Ullmann's
work in the 1950s and 1960s.
Andreas Blank was born on April 26, 1961. After graduating in Romance
Philology and History from the University of Freiburg in 1986, he worked
from 1987 to 1990 in a Special Research Program
(Sonderforschungsbereich) on Oral and Written Language at Freiburg. He
received his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Freiburg. His Ph.D.
thesis on oral language in C�line and Queneau ("Literarisierung von
M�ndlichkeit. Louis-Ferdinand C�line und Raymond Queneau", published
1991 with Narr, T�bingen) is a piece of linguistic work that was
received enthusiastically also by literature scholars.

>From 1991 to 1997, Andreas worked as Assistant Professor at the Free
University of Berlin, under the supervision of Peter Koch. He received
his habilitation degree in 1996. In 1997, he was granted a Heisenberg
scholarship for young habilitated scholars. In the same year, at the age
of 36, he was appointed to a full professorship of Romance linguistics
by the University of Marburg. He held that position until his all too
untimely death.

In the past ten years, Andreas has worked on historical and cognitive
semantics. In numerous contributions to international journals and
conference proceedings he combined traditional approaches to semantic
change, based on the categories of classical rhetoric, with recent
insights from cognitive linguistics and associationist psychology. The
importance of his work has been acknowledged within Romance philology as
well as in general linguistics. His work on lexical semantics and
cognitive onomasiology shows his perspicacity and his strong sense for
the presentation of research results. It has made him the leading
theorist of lexical semantic change. A textbook on lexical semantics
(T�bingen: Niemeyer) is in print.
His disciples, friends and colleagues will remember him as an excellent
teacher and as a kind, intellectually gifted and lively person. He
leaves behind a wife and a six-year old daughter.

Peter Koch
Richard Waltereit

Dr. Richard Waltereit
Universit�t T�bingen
Romanisches Seminar
Wilhelmstr. 50
72074 T�bingen
Allemagne / Germany

Tel. +49 7071 2974298 Fax +49 7071 295617
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