I have recently received news that the corpus linguistics community has lost
one of its great:
Matti Rissanen, Professor Emeritus of English Philology at the University of
Helsinki, died on 24 January 2018 at the age of 80.
Matti was a pioneer in English historical corpus linguistics - and he was known
by many as the "father" of the Helsinki Corpus of English Texts (published in
1991). In 1996, he became Chair of the Board of ICAME, the organisation that
changed its name to "International Archive of Modern *and Medieval* English"
(keeping its original acronym) in recognition of the thriving historical corpus
work that was so much driven by Matti's inspiration. After leaving the Board in
2004, Matti was made "honorary life member" of ICAME. He retired in 2001, but
continued to do research, and to advise students and colleagues.
Everybody who has had the pleasure of meeting Matti in person will no doubt
remember him as a genuinely supportive, good-humoured and warm-hearted
colleague and friend - he will be sorely missed.
An obituary can be found on the Varieng website of Helsinki University:
which also links to a blog entry where memories and recollections can be shared
by those who wish to pay tribute to Matti.
(Chair of the ICAME Board)
Prof. Dr. Sebastian Hoffmann
FB II Anglistik
Zimmer B 344
Tel: +49 +651 201-2287 (-2270 Sekretariat)
Fax: +49 +651 201-3946
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