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LINGUIST List 21.118

Sat Jan 09 2010

All: Obituary: Charles Ruhl

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


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        1.    Joanne Scheibman, Obituary: Charles Ruhl

Message 1: Obituary: Charles Ruhl
Date: 07-Jan-2010
From: Joanne Scheibman <jscheibmodu.edu>
Subject: Obituary: Charles Ruhl
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Charles Edward Ruhl, Professor Emeritus at Old Dominion University, died on December
25, 2009 after a long illness. He received his B.A. in philosophy from Gettysburg College in
1960, his M.A. in English from Purdue University in 1965, and his Ph.D. in linguistics
from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1972. He subsequently taught
linguistics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central.
From 1974 until his retirement in 1999, he taught at Old Dominion University, where he
served as both Graduate Program Director and Department Chair of English. He was
awarded an Academic Council of Learned Societies fellowship for the 1981-82 academic
year for his work on monosemy. He argued that before assuming the polysemy of words
with apparent multiple meanings (such as _break_ or _take_), researchers should first
examine extensive data that might reveal a single abstract meaning. In addition to numerous
articles on semantics and pragmatics, he published his book, _On Monosemy_, in 1989 with
SUNY Press. Charlie was active in SECOL (Southeast Conference of Linguistics) and was
president of that organization in 1981-82, and subsequently a lifelong member. He was also
a member of the Linguistic Society of America, the Modern Language Association, the
South Atlantic Modern Language Association, and the Linguistic Association of Canada the
United States. He remained professionally active even after his retirement. In addition to his
academic credentials, Charlie was a dedicated creative writer; he produced several small
volumes of verse and a number of other works, including a semi-autobiographical novel.
And because he was an inveterate tinkerer, never quite satisfied, he left several manuscripts
behind, both creative and academic. Charlie was also a great appreciator of others’ work,
and he mentored and gave encouragement to many colleagues over the years. In addition to
linguistics, poetry and fiction, his passions were for the Giants (both teams) and the
University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball team. Charlie was a kind, modest, and
gentle man. He will be missed.

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

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