Geoffrey Leech, 1936-2014 – The pragmatics legacy

Jonathan Culpeper
Table of contents

Professor Geoffrey Leech, a hugely influential scholar who has shaped several fields of linguistics, died suddenly on the 19th August, 2014. He was the author of over 30 books and 130 articles. However, his contribution was certainly not simply a matter of quantity. Unlike many authors, he moved into a particular area, wrote a seminal work, and then moved on to do the same in another. Thus it has been with, for example, his books on English in advertising, English poetry, the semantics of English, English prose fiction, pragmatics, politeness, and, notably, various individual and collaborative works on English grammar. All these works had massive impact. Google scholar, which typically does not capture one’s entire body of work, indicates that his work has been cited more than 32,000 times. 13 of his books have been translated into other languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Dutch, Spanish, Bahasa Malaysian and Indonesian. They have also won many prizes. For example, his work on prose fiction, with Mick Short (Leech and Short 1981), was selected in 2005 as the most influential work in the area of stylistics in the 25 year history of the Poetics and Linguistics Association.

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Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan
1999Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Pearson Education.Google Scholar
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Leech, Geoffrey N.
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