LINGUIST List 5.579

Sat 21 May 1994

FYI: Obituary: Paul Garvin

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. Matthew Dryer, Obituary for Paul Garvin

Message 1: Obituary for Paul Garvin

Date: Sat, 21 May 1994 16:13:39 Obituary for Paul Garvin
From: Matthew Dryer <>
Subject: Obituary for Paul Garvin

Paul Garvin, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the State University of New
York at Buffalo, died on Sunday, May 15, after a short illness. He was 74.

Garvin received his Ph.D. in 1947 from Indiana University. His dissertation,
written under the supervision of Carl Voegelin, was on the Kutenai language; he
published a series of articles on Kutenai in the late 40s and in the 50s,
particularly in IJAL. Subsequent to that he became internationally-known in a
variety of areas, including sociolinguistics, especially language policy and
planning issues, language in education, problems of linguistic theory and
method, machine translation, and semiotics. He served extensively as a
consultant on language problems, particularly in Latin America, but also in
Canada, Ireland, and the Catalan region in Spain.

Early in his career, he held positions at the University of Oklahoma and
Georgetown University, but through much of the 1960s held positions in private
industry doing work on machine translation. He returned to academia in 1969,
joining the Department of Linguistics at the University at Buffalo, which he
chaired from 1971 to 1977. After his retirement in 1989, he continued to
supervise students at the University at Buffalo, but he also spent part of each
year in his homeland, Czechoslovakia (or the Czech Republic), where in recent
years he held appointments in anthropological linguistics at Masaryk University
in Brno and at the University of Prague.
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