LINGUIST List 16.507

Sat Feb 19 2005

All: Obituary for Kristina Lindell

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        1.    Magnus Fiskesjö, Obituary for Kristina Lindell, 1928-2005

Message 1: Obituary for Kristina Lindell, 1928-2005

Date: 19-Feb-2005
From: Magnus Fiskesjö <>
Subject: Obituary for Kristina Lindell, 1928-2005

Kristina Lindell, 1928-2005

Kristina Lindell, renowned scholar of Asian folklore, linguistics and
culture, internationally well known in particular for her long-term
research on and engagement for the culture of the Kammu people of Southeast
Asia, passed away on February 8, 2005, in Lund, Sweden. A memorial service will
be held in nearby Limhamn, next Thursday. The cause was cancer, which she had
previously battled and proudly survived.

Kristina Lindell was born in Lund in 1928, and Lund university was for many
years the home base for her wide-ranging research in Asia, which earned her
an honorary doctorate, the prestigious Rausing prize. Kristina Lindell
contributed decisively and long-term to the establishment and development
of Asian studies at Lund University, including its department for Asian
languages and its center for East and Southeast Asian Studies, from the
1970s and onwards. She also earned a Thai order for her efforts in
promoting the teaching of Thai at Lund. She was a superb teacher, not least in
languages, an outstanding academic leader and administrator, and an accomplished
Sinologist, linguist and Asian folklorist with broad interest and knowledge
in many adjacent fields. She was also a warm, colorful and distinctive
person whose house was always open to visitors, a producer of wonderful
children's books, and an inspiration in scholarly perseverance, curiosity,
and dedication for her many students in a host of different fields.

For the ongoing research concerning the culture of the Kammu people in Laos
and other parts of northern Southeast Asia, led for many years by Kristina
Lindell and in recent years centered at the Department of Linguistics and
Phonetics, Lund University, see the Project website:

This site contains a wide-ranging bibliography regarding Kammu heritage,
including folklore, music, religion and divination, language and the overall
experience of an indigenous people, as well as a text on ''How to Enter a
Kammu Village and Work with Kammu People'' by Damrong Tayanin and Kristina
Lindell. The text is characteristic not only for the tell-tale
emphasis on collaboration -- Damrong Tayanin, an accomplished, equally
multilingual scholar of Kammu origin, has collaborated with Kristina since
the 1970s -- (see his Kammu webpage,, but also for how it
suggests Kristina's related, indeed inseparable emphasis on cultural
aspects of manners in Asian societies, which always informed both her
interaction with interlocutors and colleagues and her scholarly writings,
including on topics such as Chinese concepts of female beauty.

Full obituaries are forthcoming both in Sweden and internationally.

Magnus Fiskesjö, Visitor, School of Historical
Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, USA,
Anna Källén, Department of Archaeology and Ancient
History, Uppsala University; Anna Karlström, Dept of
Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University;
Gisela Tayanin, Krister Kam, Danny Kam, and Damrong
Tayanin, Department of Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund
University; Jan-Öjvind Swahn, Professor Emeritus,
Dept. Ethnology, Lund University; Håkan Lundström,
Dean, Malmo Academies of Performing Arts, Lund
University; Jan-Olof.Svantesson, Professor, Dept. of
Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund University; Arthur
Holmer, Dept. of Linguistics and Phonetics, Lund
University; Li Daoyong, Central Institute for
Nationalities, Beijing, China; Chatarina Lentz and
Mattias Lentz, Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
Stockholm; Elisabet Lind, Associated Senior
Researcher, Museum of Ethnography, Stockholm; Marina
Svensson, Dept of East Asian Languages, Lund

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
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