Ellen Prince, RIP

Lise Menn lise.menn at Colorado.EDU
Thu Oct 28 05:15:11 UTC 2010

A small correction of an error in the original: election as a Fellow  
of the AAAS in 2009.  Joining AAAS is open to anyone.
Lise (Secretary, AAAS Section Z [Linguistics and Language Sciences])

On Oct 27, 2010, at 8:05 PM, Tom Givon wrote:

> In Memoriam Ellen F. Prince
> It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our colleague  
> Ellen F. Prince. Ellen died peacefully at home in Philadelphia on  
> Sunday, October 24, after a long battle with cancer.
> After earning her doctorate in linguistics at the University of  
> Pennsylvania in 1974, Ellen joined the faculty of the Penn  
> Linguistics Department in the same year. She taught here until her  
> retirement in 2005 and served as chair of our department from 1993  
> to 1997. Ellen was also active in the affairs of the Linguistic  
> Society of America, serving on the executive committee and in many  
> other capacities. She was noted for her interdisciplinary  
> perspective and held a secondary appointment in Penn's Computer and  
> Information Sciences Department. Among her many honors were the  
> Presidency of the Linguistic Society of America in 2008 and election  
> to the AAAS in 2009.
> A pioneer in linguistic pragmatics, Ellen worked on her own and with  
> many colleagues and students on various aspects of the subject.  
> Several of her incisive and tightly argued papers became classics in  
> the field. She is perhaps best known for her typology of information  
> statuses in discourse, based on the study of naturally-occurring  
> data; but she also devoted major efforts to the study of the  
> pragmatic functions of syntactic constructions, including the  
> various species of cleft and left-periphery constructions, including  
> topicalization and left-dislocation. She had a particular interest  
> in Yiddish and used her knowledge of that language to do ground- 
> breaking work on the cross-linguistic comparison of the pragmatic  
> functions of syntactic constructions. In later years, she continued  
> her work on the referential status of noun phrases in the framework  
> of centering theory, as developed by colleagues Aravind Joshi, Scott  
> Weinstein and Barbara Grosz.
> Ellen was an inspirational and caring teacher, imparting high  
> intellectual standards while at the same time providing solid  
> support and mentoring to her many students. We missed her acutely  
> when she retired from our department; she will be even more sorely  
> missed now and for years to come.
> Friends, colleagues and students who would like to remember Ellen  
> Prince by making a charitable donation are asked to donate to the  
> American Lung Association (http://www.lungusa.org/donate/).
> Gillian Sankoff & Tony Kroch

Lise Menn                      Home Office: 303-444-4274
1625 Mariposa Ave       Fax: 303-413-0017
Boulder CO 80302

Professor Emerita of Linguistics
Fellow, Institute of Cognitive Science
University of  Colorado

Secretary, AAAS Section Z [Linguistics]

Campus Mail Address:
UCB 594, Institute of Cognitive Science

Campus Physical Address:
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