LINGUIST List 32.2468

Mon Jul 26 2021

All: Obituary for Joanna Błaszczak, Part Three

Editor for this issue: Sarah Robinson <>

Date: 26-Jul-2021
From: Małgorzata Cavar <>
Subject: Obituary for Joanna Błaszczak, Part Three
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In memory of Joanna Błaszczak, we are circulating a short memorial series.

Her dedication to research, her amazing knowledge, determination, charisma will remain an inspiration to her colleagues, students and friends. She will be sorely missed by many.

Joanna’s website is available here:

Memories and condolences can be shared via

A colloquium in memory of Prof. Błaszczak will be organized by colleagues at the University of Wroclaw, Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin and the University of Potsdam. More information will be available soon.

Bożena Rozwadowska:
I discovered the outstanding competences of Prof. Joanna Błaszczak when I was invited to be a reviewer of her habilitation monograph and a member of the habilitation committee in 2008. Joanna obtained her habilitation degree in 2008 at Potsdam University and soon after this, the University of Wrocław offered her the position of an associate professor at the Institute of English. On accepting the job, Joanna was very creative, full of new ideas and brought fresh spirit to our linguistic community. The most amazing were her successful applications for various grants in national and international competitions. She was the principal investigator in three domestic and two foreign grants, opening new opportunities for the young colleagues and initiating joint work in numerous projects. In this framework, Joanna obtained funds to create two experimental laboratories: the EEG lab and the eye-tracking lab, which constitute the Center for Experimental Research on Natural Language, directed by Joanna. She was the chief editor of the publishing outlet Center for General and Comparative Linguistics, and since 2015 also the coordinator of the Master's program ''Empirical and Theoretical Linguistics'' (ETHEL) at the University of Wrocław. In February 2021 Joanna was awarded the title of the Professor in humanities by the President of Poland on the basis of the monograph ''Be Future'' - Old and Modern Views on FUTURE: Typological, Diachronic and Psycholinguistic Aspects published by the Publishing House of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań.

Joanna, my colleague and friend, is the author or co-author of nearly 70 publications. Her works appeared in many renowned publishing houses (e.g. Oxford University Press, Walter de Gruyter, The Chicago University Press, MIT Press, Springer, Akademie-Verlag Berlin) and journals (e.g. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience; Syntax: A Journal of Theoretical, Experimental and Interdisciplinary; Glossa: a journal of general linguistics; Journal of Slavic Linguistics; Slavic and East European Journal; Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics). She was the editor or co-editor of nine volumes published by the likes of The Chicago University Press, Walter de Gruyter, and Springer. She presented at dozens of workshops and key scientific conferences, many times as a keynote speaker.

Joanna’s scientific interests, reflected in publications, conference presentations, or invited lectures, were extensive and covered three main areas: (i) theoretical linguistics – syntax and semantics of natural language, (ii) empirical linguistics – psycholinguistics, (iii) applied linguistics – bilingualism and multilingualism. The theoretical issues which Joanna dealt with include negation in natural language, the phenomenon of indefiniteness, the theory of minimalist and phasal syntax, case and the relation of agreement, constructions with the verb BE, temporality, mainly the category of time and aspect. Psycholinguistic research concerned the processing of expressions with negative polarity, processing of tense and aspect in natural language, processing of semantic and morphological inconsistencies, aspectual coercion, processing of noun and verb categories, especially nominalization derived from verbs. Joanna conducted research into Polish-German bilingualism, multilingualism and national identity, as well as perception and processing of foreign accents. Her work has earned numerous citations and awards.

Joanna was admired by her colleagues, her students and friends. Her spirit will revolve around us everywhere: in the labs at the University, in the library, where her books are on the shelves, and in my house, where we spent a lot of time together. Joasia left so much in this world. These traces lead to immortality and eternal life. She died so young and yet left so much for us. Joasiu, Rest In Peace.

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

Page Updated: 26-Jul-2021