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LINGUIST List 18.127

Sun Jan 14 2007

All: Obituary: Edward Burstynsky (1935-2007)

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        1.    Ana Perez-Leroux, Obituary: Edward Burstynsky (1935-2007)


Message 1: Obituary: Edward Burstynsky (1935-2007)
Date: 14-Jan-2007
From: Ana Perez-Leroux <at.perez.lerouxutoronto.ca>
Subject: Obituary: Edward Burstynsky (1935-2007)


November 22, 1935-January 2, 2007

It is with regret that the Department of Linguistics at the University of
Toronto announces that Professor Edward Burstynsky passed away on January 2, at
Toronto Western Hospital. He will be deeply missed by his family, his
colleagues and students in the university community and his many friends within
the Ukrainian community.

Prof. Burstynsky was born in Toronto, and graduated in 1958 with a B.A. degree
in Modern History and Modern Languages from the University of Toronto. He
discovered linguistics while taking Anthropology courses as a visiting student
at the University of Mexico, and went on to obtain a Masters in Romance
Philology (1963) and a Ph.D. in Romance Philology and Linguistics (1967).
He was hired as an Assistant Professor at Victoria College, University of
Toronto, and granted tenure and promotion in 1968. He was one of the founders of
the Department of Linguistics when it evolved into a full departmental from its
inception as the Centre for Linguistic Studies.

He served the department in almost every administrative capacity, including
performing as undergraduate coordinator and associate chair during much of his
tenure, and beyond his retirement until this past year.

He was a much beloved professor to dozens of generations of first-year
linguistic students, and many graduates benefited from his generous mentoring.
His generosity was legendary despite his tenacious modesty. There were many
anonymous donations that ensured that many a student could attend a conference
or the LSA institute, which he himself was fond of attending for many years.
There were regular free pizza lunches on the days T.A.s got together to mark LIN
100 exams, served officially on behalf of the department but in truth, coming
from him. He was a staunch supporter of the linguistics collection of the
library, and shared freely his own excellent collection. He served as the
interface between linguistics and many of the language departments, acting as a
welcoming bridge for students in those departments and Linguistics. He also
served the Canadian linguistics community through his contributions as Editor of
the Canadian Journal of Linguistics (1971-1978) and his presence at the Canadian
Linguistics Association.

When not at the Department, Professor Burstynsky devoted his time to the
Ukrainian community, where he was tireless promoter of St. Vladimir's Institute
in Toronto and an active member of the parish of St. Volodomir's Cathedral. On
his retirement, the community poured their support into the establishment of the
Edward N. Burstynsky Ontario Graduate Scholarship. They seized the opportunity
to honor this man who for years had resisted their efforts to recognize his many
labors on behalf of the Institute. He served as member of the Ukrainian Liaison
Committee to the Toronto Board of Education, and Chair of the Linguistics
Advisory Committee of the Canadian Institute for Ukrainian Studies, and
contributed his scholarly expertise to the support of Ukrainian culture in
Canada in other ways, including editing a book of essays on Ukrainian history in
honor of G.S.N. Luckyj, and providing public opinions on matters of the
Ukrainian language and culture.

In a small park in the town of Sintra, Portugal, lies a stone inscription that
can help us summarize this magnificent man, friend and mentor to so many. It is
fitting to cite it here, in honor of Ed's other linguistic love, the Romance
languages. The inscription dedicated the park to Ao homen que viveu ensinando,
e o maestro que ensinou vivendo, To the man who lived by teaching, and the
teacher who taught by living.


Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable
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