IN MEMORIAM: Tom Shopen
tgivon at uoregon.edu
Fri Jun 10 13:34:32 UTC 2005
IN MEMORIAM: TIM SHOPEN (1935-2005)
It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Tim Shopen, emeritus
professor of linguistics at Australian National Universitry (Canberra), June
8, 2005, after a long fight with cancer. Tim was a charter member of our
functionalist community, with many contribution, best known as editor of
several seminal collections on typology, socio-linguistics and language
Tim and I went to grad school together at UCLA in the late 1960s, both of us
at the time as Africanists (sharing Schachter as our dissertation
supervisor). I met Tim at Peter Ladofoged's phonetics-lab basement, where he
helped me launch my first experimental project in linguistics. And ex-PCV,
Tim was at the time a West Africa specialist, a well-supported area that
secured him his first two appointments, at Stanford and then Indiana. A
restless soul, Tim kept moving on, often in disappointment with the
prevailing academic order, eventually coming to roost at ANU. Every visit
there, beginning with 1976, became a tgreat reat because of Tim's presence
Tim was a rare idealist, un homme vraiment engagE and a caring friend.
Everything he did, he put his heart and soul in it, often putting the rest
of us to shame, leaving usfar behind in his furiuous pace. He was the most
relentless, exacting editor I had ever laboured under, often to my chagfrin
by always to my ultimate benefit.
Tim was an accomplished, enthusiastic musician, a banjo player and singer,
deeply into both American and Irish traditional music. I owe him a lifetime
of pleasure for having prevailed on me to take up the fiddle in 1976.
Playing on his radio program in Canberra in 1985, and with his Irish band
during the christening of his twin boys, will remain cherrished high points
of my life.
Our community has lost a faithful colleague and a loyal friend.
Requiescat in pace.
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