Geoff Leech

Died on August 19th, linguist Geoffrey Leech of Lancaster University (in the UK). The quick overview from Wikipedia:

Geoffrey Neil Leech (16 January 1936 – 19 August 2014) was a specialist in English language and linguistics. He was the author, co-author or editor of over 30 books and over 120 published papers. His main academic interests were English grammar, corpus linguistics, stylistics, pragmatics and semantics.

A nice notice on Language Log by Ben Zimmer on the 20th, emphasizing the importance of Geoff’s work in corpus linguistics.

Geoff himself wrote (with characteristic modesty) “An Academic Autobiography” dated 12 June 2009, available here.

Geoff was a charming and fascinating host when I gave a talk at Lancaster in 1977. Some of the comments on Ben’s LLog posting and in a posting by Geoff’s Lancaster colleague Andrew Hardie talk about these personal qualities of Geoff’s, in words like “kind and generous friend”, “charming”, and “unassuming”, and also praise his teaching.


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