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Stephen Wurm, 1922-2001: Linguist Extraordinaire

Stephen Wurm, 1922-2001: Linguist Extraordinaire Stephen Wurm died on October 24, 2001, aged 79.1 He was one of a handful of scholars who shaped the direction of linguistic research in the Paci²c in the decades after World War ii. He was a gifted ²eldworker and proli²c writer, with more than 300 publications to his name.2 But above all he was an outstanding academic entrepreneur who helped to put Paci²c linguistics "on the map" in three distinct senses. First, he established a vigorous program of research at the Australian National University, where he was the ²rst linguist appointed (in 1957, within the then Department of Anthropology and Sociology), and the foundation Professor of Linguistics in the Research School of Paci²c Studies (RSPacS) from 1968 to 1987. As the main area of research for RSPacS linguistics during his tenure, Wurm chose the languages of Melanesia, and especially the non-Austronesian (or "Papuan") languages, at that time very poorly documented. The academic staff he recruited had to have two crucial qualities: being a specialist in a certain part or parts of this region and being an indefatigable ²eldworker. Second, in the early 1960s, he set up a publishing organization (known from 1966 as "Paci²c Linguistics") as an http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Oceanic Linguistics University of Hawai'I Press

Stephen Wurm, 1922-2001: Linguist Extraordinaire

Oceanic Linguistics , Volume 41 (1) – Jun 1, 2002

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9421
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Abstract

Stephen Wurm died on October 24, 2001, aged 79.1 He was one of a handful of scholars who shaped the direction of linguistic research in the Paci²c in the decades after World War ii. He was a gifted ²eldworker and proli²c writer, with more than 300 publications to his name.2 But above all he was an outstanding academic entrepreneur who helped to put Paci²c linguistics "on the map" in three distinct senses. First, he established a vigorous program of research at the Australian National University, where he was the ²rst linguist appointed (in 1957, within the then Department of Anthropology and Sociology), and the foundation Professor of Linguistics in the Research School of Paci²c Studies (RSPacS) from 1968 to 1987. As the main area of research for RSPacS linguistics during his tenure, Wurm chose the languages of Melanesia, and especially the non-Austronesian (or "Papuan") languages, at that time very poorly documented. The academic staff he recruited had to have two crucial qualities: being a specialist in a certain part or parts of this region and being an indefatigable ²eldworker. Second, in the early 1960s, he set up a publishing organization (known from 1966 as "Paci²c Linguistics") as an

Journal

Oceanic LinguisticsUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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