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.
Biber, Douglas, Stig Johansson, Geoffrey Leech, Susan Conrad and Edward Finegan
1999Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Pearson Education.
1987“Indirectness and politeness in requests: Same or different?”Journal of Pragmatics 11: 131–146.
Bousfield, Derek and Miriam Locher
(eds.)2008Impoliteness in Language: Studies on its Interplay with Power in Theory and Practice. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. BoP
Brookins, Timothy A.
2010“A politeness analysis of Catullus’ polymetric poems: Can Leech’s GSP cross the ancient–modern divide?”Journal of Pragmatics 42(5): 1283–1295. BoP
Brown, Penelope and Stephen C. Levinson
1978/1987Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cruse, Alan D.
2000Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
1996“Towards an anatomy of impoliteness.”Journal of Pragmatics 25: 349–67. BoP
1990“Perspectives on politeness.”Journal of Pragmatics 14(2): 219–36. BoP
Grice, H. Paul.
1975“Logic and conversation.” In Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, ed. by Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan, 41–58. London and New York: Academic Press. BoP
Lakoff, Robin T.
1973 “The logic of politeness; or, minding your p’s and q’s.”
Papers from the Ninth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society
: 292–305. BoP
Leech, Geoffrey N.
1969Towards a Semantic Description of English. London: Longman.
2003Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. BoP
Werkhofer, Konrad T.
 2005 “Traditional and modern views: The social constitution and the power of politeness.” In Politeness in Language: Studies in its History, Theory and Practice (2nd edn), ed. by Richard J. Watts, Sachiko Ide and Konrad Ehlich, 155–199. Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
1991/2003Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: The Semantics of Human Interaction (2nd edn). Berlin and London: Mouton de Gruyter. BoP