LINGUIST List 18.1378

Mon May 07 2007

All: In Memoriam: Professor Ladislav Zgusta

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Directory         1.    Hans Henrich Hock, In Memoriam: Professor Ladislav Zgusta

Message 1: In Memoriam: Professor Ladislav Zgusta
Date: 07-May-2007
From: Hans Henrich Hock <>
Subject: In Memoriam: Professor Ladislav Zgusta

In Memoriam: Ladislav Zgusta

On Friday, 27 April 2007, our colleague, mentor, and good friend LadislavZgusta passed away. He is survived by his wife, Olga, and two children, andhis passing is a great loss to all of us at the University of Illinois,Urbana-Champaign.

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1924 he survived two dictatorships, the Nazis andthe Communists. Immediately after the collapse of the “Prague Spring” hemade a daring, cloak-and-dagger escape with his family, via India, to theUnited States, where he joined the University of Illinois soon after asmember of the faculty in Linguistics and the Classics. In 1986 he wasappointed Director of the University’s prestigious Center for Advanced Study.

Professor Zgusta earned three doctor’s degrees. The first one in ClassicalPhilology and Indology from Prague University (1949), the second in thePhilology of Ancient Asia Minor from the Prague Academy (1964), and a third“Dr. Habil” degree in Indo-European linguistics from the University of Brno(1964). The three dissertation topics give only a limited indication of thebreadth of his work. He published eight books and monographs, edited orco-edited at least another nine monographs, and produced more than 140papers and article, and more than 570 reviews, on a wide range of topics,including Indo-European and general historical and comparative linguistics,synchronic linguistics, typology, onomastics, and perhaps most important,lexicography. His Manual of Lexicography, published in 1971 by Mouton, isstill a standard in the field.

His contributions have been widely recognized. He served as CollitzProfessor at the 1976 Linguistic Institute of the Linguistic Society ofAmerica. He held Guggenheim fellowships in 1977 and 1983. He was anhonorary member of the American Name Society, a fellow of the DictionarySociety of North America, and member of the executive board of theIndogermanische Gesellschaft. He became a corresponding member of theAustrian Academy of Science in 1982 and was elected a fellow of theAmerican Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992. Perhaps the personally mostsignificant recognition was his being awarded the Gold Medal of the CzechAcademy of Sciences for his work in Humanities in 1992.

Most important, Ladislav Zgusta was a great colleague and friend, known forhis loyalty to the Department of Linguistics and his marvelous sense of humor.

A comprehensive bibliography of Professor’s Zgusta writing, up to 1994, canbe found in these two publications:

Hock, Hans Henrich (ed.) 1997. Historical, Indo-European, andlexicographical studies: A festschrift for Ladislav Zgusta on the occasionof his 70th birthday. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter

Kachru, Braj B., and Henry Kahane (eds.) 1995. Cultures, Ideologies and theDictionary: Studies in Honor of Ladislav Zgusta. (Lexicographica: SeriesMaior.) Tübingen: Max Niemeyer.

See also:

Ladislav Zgusta. Lexicography Then and Now: Selected Essays. Edited byFrederic S. F. Dolezal and Thomas B. I. Creamer. (Lexicographica SeriesMaior.) Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 2006.And:

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable