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LINGUIST List 20.1954

Fri May 22 2009

All: Obituary: Dr. David Watters

Editor for this issue: Catherine Adams <catherinlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Carol Genetti, Obituary: Dr. David Watters

Message 1: Obituary: Dr. David Watters
Date: 21-May-2009
From: Carol Genetti <cgenettilinguistics.ucsb.edu>
Subject: Obituary: Dr. David Watters
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It is with deep sadness that I inform readers of LINGUIST List of the death
of Dr. David Watters, one of the top scholars in Tibeto-Burman linguistics
in Nepal.

David and his wife, Nancy, first went to Nepal in the early 1970’s, where
they raised their children among the Kham community. David completed his
Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Oregon in 1998. His dissertation
was an extensive study of Kham, a previously undescribed Tibeto-Burman
language, including a detailed comparison of the verbal morphology of
several Kham dialects, and an analysis of the implications of this data for
the reconstruction of Proto-Tibeto-Burman. The revised grammar was
published by Cambridge University Press in 2002. He was also the author of
Notes on Kusunda: A language isolate of Nepal, published in Himalayan
Linguistics in 2006, as well as many articles in journals and edited
collections. In addition to his own careful and admirable scholarship,
David dedicated his life to furthering linguistics in Nepal. For many years
he taught in the Department of Linguistics at Tribhuvan University, where
he was a valuable mentor to scores of Nepalese students from a diverse
array of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. His contribution to
Tibeto-Burman languages will undoubtedly live on in the work of these
students for decades to come. David passed away on May 18th as a result of
complications following surgery for cancer. A deeply committed Christian,
he viewed death as a passage to everlasting joy. David was a wonderful
friend, a treasured father, and a fine colleague. He will be greatly missed.

Carol Genetti

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

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