LINGUIST List 16.1090

Thu Apr 07 2005

All: Obituary: Joseph Taglicht

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        1.    Anita Mittwoch, Obituary: Joseph Taglicht

Message 1: Obituary: Joseph Taglicht

Date: 07-Apr-2005
From: Anita Mittwoch <>
Subject: Obituary: Joseph Taglicht

Joseph Taglicht died on March 11th in Jerusalem. Born in Berlin in 1926, Joe was
saved by the 'Kindertransport', which enabled him to find refuge in England in
1939; he moved to Israel in 1951. From 1963 until his retirement in 1993 he was
a member of the English department of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Joe began his academic career as a medievalist, but later moved over to
linguistics, working in the Hallidayan school which was then prevalent in
London. His publications spanned a considerable range of topics, from the
language of Ywain and Gawain (the subject of his Oxford doctoral thesis) to his
last paper on the two functions of the word actually. He wrote on poetic metre,
on relative constructions, on modals. But the main thread that runs through
nearly all of his work is an abiding interest in intonation, in particular in
the way intonation interacts with syntax, semantics and information structure.
In some of this work he made use of oral corpus material, but he could also rely
on an exceptionally sharp ear for the melodies of speech. With the publication
in 1984 of his book Message and Emphasis: On Focus and Scope in English, he
became an acknowledged authority in this field. Joe was a scholarly, and at the
same time a very perceptive and sensitive, linguist; his grammaticality
judgements could always be trusted without the slightest hesitation.

Those who knew him will miss Joe for his unpretentious wisdom and humanity, for
his generosity to colleagues, for his integrity and for the intellectual
curiosity which he retained even during his last painful illness.

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
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