20.2732, All: Obituary: Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov

Mon Aug 10 13:33:39 UTC 2009

LINGUIST List: Vol-20-2732. Mon Aug 10 2009. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 20.2732, All: Obituary: Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov

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Date: 09-Aug-2009
From: Werner Abraham < werner_abraham at t-online.de >
Subject: Obituary: Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov

-------------------------Message 1 ---------------------------------- 
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2009 09:26:59
From: Werner Abraham [werner_abraham at t-online.de]
Subject: Obituary: Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov

E-mail this message to a friend:

Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov, a great Russian linguist and typologist, died
July 21, 2009 in St. Petersburg, at age 81, after a few months of heavy

Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov graduated from the Moscow Institute of Foreign
Languages in 1950. He started his academic career in 1959 with entering the
post-graduation study (aspirantura) at the Department of German Philology
of the Lenin-grad Pedagogical Institute (Pedagogicheskij Institut imeni
Gercena). His early works concentrated on German grammar and pedagogical
aspects of teaching German. 

The scope of his interests crucially extended in 1961, when, after
defending his Candidate dissertation (kandidatskaja dissertacija), he
joined the Research Group for a typological study of languages at the
Leningrad Institute of Linguistics, founded and directed by Alexander

Vladimir Petrovich Nedjalkov became one of the most brilliant
representatives of what is now known as the famous Leningrad/St. Petersburg
Typological School, greatly contributing to the development of the
methodology, achievements, and successes of the Research Group. During the
years of the Iron Curtain, when many eminent linguists left Soviet Union,
Vladimir Nedjalkov remained and contributed to the development of the
unique typological tradition in the country. His interests mainly focused
on the typology of verbal categories, such as voice and valency changing
(causatives, reciprocals, reflexives, passives), aspect and actionality
(resultatives, inchoatives/inceptives), converbs, etc. We owe Nedjalkov
comprehensive descriptions and minute analyses of several categories both
in the typological perspective and on individual languages - German,
Chukchee, Nivkh, Evenki, and numerous others. The works of the last decade
mostly concentrated on a typological study of reciprocal constructions - a
long-term project. It has found its outcome in the fundamental five-volume
work,  a true Encyclopaedia of reciprocals - an impressive monument of his
scientific life. 

Nedjalkov's linguistic intuition, typological horizon and sharp eye has
made him a unique editor - every volume published under his editorship
became a remarkable event within our linguistic horizons. 

Nedjalkov was a man of rare integrity. He did not draw much of a difference
between life and scientific work. His exuberant energy was topic of legends
and helped him to launch and realize the most fantastic collective
projects. He literally 'infected' his colleagues with his energy, making
possible endeavors which otherwise would never have been brought to their
end. He liberally shared his ideas and insights with people who surrounded
him. Many talented young researchers were attracted into his 'magnetic
linguistic' field, being greatly helped by Nedjalkov to develop their
professional skills and to find their place within the scientific and
academic infrastructure. 

Vladimir Nedjalkov's charming personality, his sense of humour, his sharp
criticism, and his friendly invaluable help to colleagues will be sorely
missed. But he survives in his fundamental works, in his students, and in
his colleagues and their works. 

Linguistic Field(s): Not Applicable

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