From: Hans Henrich Hock <hhhockuiuc.edu>
Subject: In Memoriam: Professor Ladislav Zgusta
In Memoriam: Ladislav Zgusta
On Friday, 27 April 2007, our colleague, mentor, and good friend Ladislav
Zgusta passed away. He is survived by his wife, Olga, and two children, and
his passing is a great loss to all of us at the University of Illinois,
Born in Czechoslovakia in 1924 he survived two dictatorships, the Nazis and
the Communists. Immediately after the collapse of the “Prague Spring” he
made a daring, cloak-and-dagger escape with his family, via India, to the
United States, where he joined the University of Illinois soon after as
member of the faculty in Linguistics and the Classics. In 1986 he was
appointed Director of the University’s prestigious Center for Advanced Study.
Professor Zgusta earned three doctor’s degrees. The first one in Classical
Philology and Indology from Prague University (1949), the second in the
Philology of Ancient Asia Minor from the Prague Academy (1964), and a third
“Dr. Habil” degree in Indo-European linguistics from the University of Brno
(1964). The three dissertation topics give only a limited indication of the
breadth of his work. He published eight books and monographs, edited or
co-edited at least another nine monographs, and produced more than 140
papers and article, and more than 570 reviews, on a wide range of topics,
including Indo-European and general historical and comparative linguistics,
synchronic linguistics, typology, onomastics, and perhaps most important,
lexicography. His Manual of Lexicography, published in 1971 by Mouton, is
still a standard in the field.
His contributions have been widely recognized. He served as Collitz
Professor at the 1976 Linguistic Institute of the Linguistic Society of
America. He held Guggenheim fellowships in 1977 and 1983. He was an
honorary member of the American Name Society, a fellow of the Dictionary
Society of North America, and member of the executive board of the
Indogermanische Gesellschaft. He became a corresponding member of the
Austrian Academy of Science in 1982 and was elected a fellow of the
American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. Perhaps the personally most
significant recognition was his being awarded the Gold Medal of the Czech
Academy of Sciences for his work in Humanities in 1992.
Most important, Ladislav Zgusta was a great colleague and friend, known for
his loyalty to the Department of Linguistics and his marvelous sense of humor.
A comprehensive bibliography of Professor’s Zgusta writing, up to 1994, can
be found in these two publications:
Hock, Hans Henrich (ed.) 1997. Historical, Indo-European, and
lexicographical studies: A festschrift for Ladislav Zgusta on the occasion
of his 70th birthday. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter
Kachru, Braj B., and Henry Kahane (eds.) 1995. Cultures, Ideologies and the
Dictionary: Studies in Honor of Ladislav Zgusta. (Lexicographica: Series
Maior.) Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.
Ladislav Zgusta. Lexicography Then and Now: Selected Essays. Edited by
Frederic S. F. Dolezal and Thomas B. I. Creamer. (Lexicographica Series
Maior.) Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2006.
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