LINGUIST List 12.180

Wed Jan 24 2001

All: Andreas Blank, 1961-2001

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  • Richard Waltereit, Obituary: Andreas Blank

    Message 1: Obituary: Andreas Blank

    Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 18:44:03 +0100
    From: Richard Waltereit <>
    Subject: Obituary: Andreas Blank

    Andreas Blank, Professor of Romance Linguistics at the University of Marburg (Germany), died of a cancer on January 20, 2001. He was not even forty years old. His work on historical semantics, especially his book "Prinzipien des lexikalischen Bedeutungswandels" (T�bingen: Niemeyer, 1997), which originated from his 1996 habilitation thesis, provides the first comprehensive theory of semantic change since Stephen Ullmann's work in the 1950s and 1960s. Andreas Blank was born on April 26, 1961. After graduating in Romance Philology and History from the University of Freiburg in 1986, he worked from 1987 to 1990 in a Special Research Program (Sonderforschungsbereich) on Oral and Written Language at Freiburg. He received his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Freiburg. His Ph.D. thesis on oral language in C�line and Queneau ("Literarisierung von M�ndlichkeit. Louis-Ferdinand C�line und Raymond Queneau", published 1991 with Narr, T�bingen) is a piece of linguistic work that was received enthusiastically also by literature scholars.

    >From 1991 to 1997, Andreas worked as Assistant Professor at the Free University of Berlin, under the supervision of Peter Koch. He received his habilitation degree in 1996. In 1997, he was granted a Heisenberg scholarship for young habilitated scholars. In the same year, at the age of 36, he was appointed to a full professorship of Romance linguistics by the University of Marburg. He held that position until his all too untimely death.

    In the past ten years, Andreas has worked on historical and cognitive semantics. In numerous contributions to international journals and conference proceedings he combined traditional approaches to semantic change, based on the categories of classical rhetoric, with recent insights from cognitive linguistics and associationist psychology. The importance of his work has been acknowledged within Romance philology as well as in general linguistics. His work on lexical semantics and cognitive onomasiology shows his perspicacity and his strong sense for the presentation of research results. It has made him the leading theorist of lexical semantic change. A textbook on lexical semantics (T�bingen: Niemeyer) is in print. His disciples, friends and colleagues will remember him as an excellent teacher and as a kind, intellectually gifted and lively person. He leaves behind a wife and a six-year old daughter.

    Peter Koch Richard Waltereit

    - Dr. Richard Waltereit Universit�t T�bingen Romanisches Seminar Wilhelmstr. 50 72074 T�bingen Allemagne / Germany

    Tel. +49 7071 2974298 Fax +49 7071 295617