LINGUIST List 32.2471

Mon Jul 26 2021

All: Obituary for Joanna Błaszczak, Part Six

Editor for this issue: Sarah Robinson <>

Date: 26-Jul-2021
From: Małgorzata Cavar <>
Subject: Obituary for Joanna Błaszczak, Part Six
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In memory of Joanna Błaszczak, we are circulating a short series of contributions from her colleagues and students.

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.

Marcin Orszulak:

My personal memory of Joanna, the one that will stay with me, is connected with her fondness for animals. Since a dog joined my family, we would often detour from linguistic topics to pets. Although she couldn't have a pet in her adult life (we all know how busy she was!), she talked about her childhood dog and other dogs in her family. When we met to consult my PhD project, we would always start with the subjunctive and end with the photos of my beagle. The way our meetings proceeded tells a lot about Joanna. She was a committed linguist as well as a sensitive and kind person.

Hanna Kędzierska:

No words can fully express my sadness now – I owe Joanna incredibly much since she was my mentor, MA and PhD advisor, and the head of the lab which I had the honour to be part of. Her talent, passion and unprecedented personal attitude towards her students motivated us (I believe I can speak for all former and current ETHEL students now) to constantly develop as aspiring linguists and as knowledgeable human beings. I will always remember Joanna not only as a brilliant scientist and a generous supervisor, but most importantly as the most humble of the smartest people I know, a great nature lover with an open mind and heart.

Jennifer Dorman:

Joanna Błaszczak was a brilliant linguist, a tireless researcher, and a dedicated professor. I count myself among the lucky students who had a chance to learn from and with her. Behind the professional accolades and publications stood a rare and truly selfless individual, one who viewed teaching as an opportunity to mentor aspiring linguists. Joanna cared deeply for her students as learners and as people, exhibiting patience while skilfully and creatively coaching us to construct our own understanding and make sense of what we were learning. Never one to return work with a simple score, Joanna always took the time to provide the feedback and guidance that would help us improve and progress. Joanna will be greatly missed, though her impact endures through the work of her many students, research partners, and colleagues. I will miss her.

Veranika Puhacheuskaya:

Joanna has made a tremendous impact in my life, both personal and academic. I have never known a supervisor who was as devoted to her students as she was, disregarding her own needs completely. She did everything that was and wasn’t in her power to always get the best for us: best projects, best funding, best equipment. Her intelligence and kindness were superhuman. Whenever I am stuck on a problem and need guidance, I keep asking myself, “What would Joanna do in my place?” I feel like I lost a parent, and this loss is unbearable.

Magdalena Frankowska:

Joasia was not just a tutor or supervisor. She was a mentor. With her attitude and meticulousness, she set up certain standard I wanted to live up to. I wanted to know it all just as she seemed to know everything and have read about everything. It was she who introduced me to the scientific approach. She made me believe in myself, encouraged me to be an investigator and turned my studies into an exciting journey through the fascinating world of languages. She was fun to work and be with.

Paula Liczbańska:

If I were to find one word to describe Joanna, I'd say she was extraordinary. Never have I met anyone so dedicated to their work, with such passion and drive. She cared so much and spent every hour of her time to help and guide others. I felt like we were colleagues sharing ideas, even though the knowledge she possessed could easily intimidate a student. I've seen many lives changing thanks to her, including mine. For that I will always be grateful.

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

Page Updated: 26-Jul-2021