LINGUIST List 21.2841|
Thu Jul 08 2010
All: Obituary: Kjartan Ottosson
Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler
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1. Jan Terje
Obituary: Kjartan Ottosson
Message 1: Obituary: Kjartan Ottosson
From: Jan Terje Faarlund <j.t.faarlundiln.uio.no>
Subject: Obituary: Kjartan Ottosson
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Professor Kjartan Ottosson died on June the 28th after a long battle
against cancer. Born in Iceland in 1956, Kjartan received his PhD degree at
the University of Lund, Sweden, and became professor of Icelandic at the
University of Oslo, Norway in 1991. He was closely attached to Norway, both
personally and academically, and he also took Norwegian citizenship.
His main research interest was the syntax and morphology of Icelandic, Old
Norse, and early New Norwegian, where he contributed several important
studies. Kjartan combined a solid empirical basis with linguistic theory.
His dissertation on the Icelandic mediopassive remains a major work on the
historical morphosyntax of Scandinavian. Kjartan was an important member of
the research group on ''Linguistic Theory and Language Change'' at the
Centre for Advanced Study at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters
in 2004/5, and until the time of his illness was part of a major national
project on the history of Norwegian. But his academic pursuits were not
limited to historical linguistics. He was also an accomplished philologist,
actively involved in a project on editing Icelandic sagas.
Kjartan represented a rare, but all the more important, combination of
theoretical and historical linguistics and philology. His death was a great
loss to the Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at the
University of Oslo, and to colleagues in Norway and worldwide. We have lost
a good colleague and a dear friend.
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