LINGUIST List 15.74

Wed Jan 14 2004

All: Obituary: William Orr Dingwall

Editor for this issue: Sarah Murray <>


  1. Nan Ratner, Death of colleague William Orr Dingwall

Message 1: Death of colleague William Orr Dingwall

Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2004 14:36:59 -0500 (EST)
From: Nan Ratner <>
Subject: Death of colleague William Orr Dingwall

William Orr Dingwall was born in Washington, DC, in 1934. He was a
graduate of Landon School and Georgetown University. His college
education included international studies in preparation for a career
in the Foreign Service. This led to an interest in linguistics, and he
eventually received his PhD in Linguistics from Georgetown in 1964.
His first academic position was in the Department of Linguistics at
Simon Frasier University, British Columbia, Canada. He then returned
to the DC area and became a faculty member at the University of
Maryland, at College Park, where he initiated studies in Linguistics
and established the Linguistics Program in 1965. His interests
expanded to studies of language and the brain. In 1979, his program
joined the Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences at the
University. He continued his studies, research and teaching in the
area of Brain and Language up to his retirement from the University in
1996. Always a spirited member of the Department, he will be missed by
his colleagues and the many students that he mentored throughout the

William Dingwall was a true scholar and a musician with a great
appreciation of art and history. He read widely, and amassed a unique
book collection, parts of which were donated to the University of
Maryland when he retired in 1996. He was the author of many articles,
chapters, and books. One of his last publications was an introductory
chapter on language and the brain in a popular undergraduate
textbook. In addition to his scholarly interests, he was an
established pianist and had wide interest in different kinds of music.
As a man who enjoyed many privileges in life, it is noteworthy that he
cared very much for the welfare of new immigrants to the United
States. In particular he helped those who wanted to pursue higher
education in the field of Brain and Language. The William Orr Dingwall
Foundation has supported many students, who will greatly mourn his
passing. They will be a lasting testimony to his love of language and
the mind, as well as his vision for a younger generation of scholars
to follow in his footsteps.
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