LINGUIST List 21.3229

Tue Aug 10 2010

All: Obituary: Professor Werner Winter (1923 – 2010)

Editor for this issue: Elyssa Winzeler <>

        1.    Julia Ulrich, Obituary: Professor Werner Winter (1923 – 2010)

Message 1: Obituary: Professor Werner Winter (1923 – 2010)
Date: 10-Aug-2010
From: Julia Ulrich <>
Subject: Obituary: Professor Werner Winter (1923 – 2010)
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Professor Werner Winter (25.10.1923 - 7.8.2010)

Even when somebody has lived for 86 years and sums up his own life by saying, 'it was good, it was satisfactory,' and says that he did not miss anything but his wife, who passed away before he did, death always comes too early. There are always unfinished plans, friends to be seen, interesting manuscripts to be read and even more interesting research questions to follow up on, delicious meals to be eaten, and bottles of good red wine to be enjoyed. It is our sad duty to inform you that Werner Winter, Professor Emeritus at Kiel University, passed away on Saturday.

Werner Winter's research interests were multifaceted: Classical Languages; German; Slavic; and his true passion, Indo-European. His university career began in Hamburg, then took him to the University of Berne. In 1949 he went to the United States to teach in Kansas, and moved back to Hamburg before taking up a position in Texas. Finally, he became chair of Allgemeine und Historisch-Vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft at the Christian-Albrechts University of Kiel. He began his editorial work with Mouton in the 1960s. When Mouton was acquired by Walter de Gruyter in 1976, he became a close advisor to the governing board and remained so since that time. Professor Winter was the editor of some 220 books in the MOUTON series Trends in Linguistics (including the subseries Studies and Monographs, Documentation, and State-of-the-Art Reports). Among many other outstanding publications, there were several titles under his editorship which became classics in linguistics: Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas (Wurm, Mühlhäusler, Tryon, Eds.); Baxter's A Handbook of Old Chinese Phonology; Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans (Gamkrelidze and Ivanov); Comparative Austronesian Dictionary (Tryon, Ed.); Hock's Principles of Historical Linguistics; and Baldi's Foundations of Latin.

In addition to the importance Werner Winter played for the linguistics community, the publishing company, and linguists who profited from his hands-on editorship, it should be mentioned what a good sense of humor he possessed: One day, we googled his name hoping to fill a bibliographical gap. What turned up was quite unexpected. 'Werner Winter: Europas jüngster Raubtierdompteur der 1940er Jahre' (Werner Winter: Europe's youngest wild animal tamer in the 1940s). When asked about it, he promptly responded, 'well, that´s what I did before I came to work in linguistics!'

He is survived by his son Christian. Condolences can be sent to

Dr. Christian Anders Winter Kirchenstr.6 25899 Niebüll

The funeral will be held in Preetz (Kiel) on August 13 at 11 o'clock in the Friedhofskapelle Preetz.

We will miss him. We will miss his wit, his expertise, his generosity. We will miss this and so much more.

On behalf of De Gruyter management and the De Gruyter Mouton Team,

Anke Beck Kirstin Börgen Barbara Karlson Ursula Kleinhenz Katja Lehming Jennifer Mand Marcia Schwartz Birgit Sievert Uri Tadmor

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

Page Updated: 10-Aug-2010