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LINGUIST List 22.3340

Mon Aug 22 2011

All: Obituary: Remembering Anna Siewierska

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <elyssalinguistlist.org>


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        1.     Anke Beck , Obituary: Remembering Anna Siewierska

Message 1: Obituary: Remembering Anna Siewierska
Date: 22-Aug-2011
From: Anke Beck <mouton.editorialdegruyter.com>
Subject: Obituary: Remembering Anna Siewierska
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Remembering Anna Siewierska

I was about to meet Anna, who was the editor of the EUROTYP volume
Constituent Order in the Languages of Europe, published by De Gruyter
Mouton in 1998, for the first time. I already had much respect for her
before I actually met her: she had begun her studies at the University of
Gdańsk, then moved on to Monash (Australia), where she gained her PhD in
1985. Anna then attended the University of Amsterdam before she received
her Post-doctoral (habilitation degree) at the University of Gdańsk in
1992. She was appointed Professor of Linguistics and Human Communication at
Lancaster University, but also spent time as a Visiting Scholar at the Max
Planck Institute of Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, and the list of
achievements went on and on. She was one of the ''hard working'' linguists
– no doubt, given the career trajectory, but was also rumored to be
efficient, caring, supportive of her students, attractive… in short: she
had a reputation for being perfect.

I was a little nervous to approach her. I had just listened to a
well-presented talk on ''ditransitives,'' if I remember correctly, and I
thought I should try to find her and congratulate her on her presentation.
I discovered her standing at the buffet in the distance. She stood still
and did not move at all. ''She looks like an iconic figure,'' I said to
myself.

Then something caught my eye: I saw a bright pop of color twinkling from
below the buffet's white tablecloths. I realized that it was Anna´s shoes.
They were bright red shoes, and they were glorious! So while I meant to
approach her in a professional way, what I really said was, ''Great talk,
Anna, but you know what? Even greater shoes!'' Anna burst out laughing and
almost couldn't stop. ''Oh yes,'' she cried, ''I loved them, too - before I
realized I had to walk in them!'' In this very non-academic moment, a
wonderful friendship was born.

This is how I want to remember Anna: an excellent linguist, but also a
warm, charming, affectionate woman with a great sense of wit and style.

We, my colleagues at De Gruyter Mouton and I, would like to express our
gratitude that she became our author, editor, friend and advisor. Our
thoughts are with Dik Bakker, her husband, at this time. Anna will be
greatly missed.

Anke Beck
and the De Gruyter Mouton team

Kirstin Börgen
Emily Farrell
Barbara Karlson
Katja Lehming
Jennifer Mand
Julie Miess
Marcia Schwartz
Birgit Sievert
Uri Tadmor

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable


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