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Robert Blust is confirmed dead at the age of 81.

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Robert Blust
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Robert Blust
Robert Blust 2017.jpg
Robert Andrew Blust

(1940-05-09)May 9, 1940
DiedJanuary 5, 2022(2022-01-05) (aged 81)
Other namesBai Lesi (白樂思)
Academic background
EducationB.A. in Anthropology (1967),

M.A. in Linguistics (1968),

PhD in Linguistics (1974), University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
ThesisThe Proto-North Sarawak Vowel Deletion Hypothesis (1974)
Doctoral advisorGeorge W. Grace
Academic work
InstitutionsUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese白樂思
Robert A. Blust (/blʌst/; Chinese: 白樂思; pinyin: Bái Lèsī; May 9, 1940 – January 5, 2022) was an American linguist who worked in several areas, including historical linguistics, lexicography and ethnology. He was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Blust specialized in the Austronesian languages and made major contributions to the field of Austronesian linguistics.
1 Early life and career
1.1 Austronesian languages
1.2 Field work
2 Personal life and death
3 See also
4 Selected publications
5 References
6 External links
Early life and career
Blust was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 9, 1940, and raised in California. He received both a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology in 1967 and a PhD in linguistics in 1974 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He was a professor in the Department of Linguistics at that university, serving as department chair from 2005 to 2008, and was a Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.
Austronesian languages
Until 2018, he served as the review editor for Oceanic Linguistics, an academic journal that covers the Austronesian languages. Blust is best known for his work on this large language family, including the comprehensive Austronesian Comparative Dictionary (Blust 1995c) and a Thao-English dictionary (Blust 2003b). Another one of his well-known works is a 2009 work called The Austronesian Languages, which is the first single-authored book to cover all aspects (phonology, syntax, morphology, sound changes, classification, etc.) of the Austronesian language family in its entirety.
Field work
As part of his field work, Blust studied 97 Austronesian languages spoken in locations such as Sarawak, Papua New Guinea, and Taiwan. In Taiwan, he performed field work on Formosan languages such as Thao, Kavalan, Pazeh, Amis, Paiwan and Saisiyat. His dictionary of the highly endangered Thao language is currently the most complete of any Formosan language dictionary, containing over 1100 pages. Blust also had an abiding research interest in both linguistic and cultural aspects of rainbows and dragons.
Personal life and death
Blust died from cancer in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 5, 2022, at the age of 81.
See also
Austronesian Hypothesis
Selected publications
Blust, Robert. 1974. The Proto-North-Sarawak vowel deletion hypothesis. PhD dissertation. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Blust, Robert. 1977. The Proto-Austronesian pronouns and Austronesian subgrouping: a preliminary report. University of Hawaiʻi Working Papers in Linguistics 9.2: 1–15.
Blust, Robert. 1993. *S metathesis and the Formosan/Malayo-Polynesian language boundary. In Dahl, Øyvind (1993). Language--a Doorway Between Human Cultures: Tributes to Dr. Otto Chr. Dahl on His Ninetieth Birthday. Novus Forlag. ISBN 978-82-7099-205-8.
Blust, Robert. 1995a. The position of the Formosan languages: method and theory in Austronesian comparative linguistics. In Paul Jen-kuei Li et al., eds., Austronesian Studies Relating to Taiwan: 585–650. Symposium Series of the Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, No. 3. Taipei: Academia Sinica.
Blust, Robert. 1995b. Austronesian Comparative Dictionary (ACD). Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Blust, Robert. 1996. Some remarks on the linguistic position of Thao. Oceanic Linguistics 35: 272–294.
Blust, Robert. 1999. Pazeh phonology and morphology. Oceanic Linguistics 38.2: 321–365.
Blust, Robert. 2003a. Three notes on early Austronesian morphology. Oceanic Linguistics, 42.2: 438–478.
Blust, Robert. 2003b. Thao dictionary. Language and Linguistics Monograph Series, No. A5. Taipei: Institute of Linguistics (Preparatory Office), Academia Sinica.ISBN 978-957-01-4785-8
Blust, Robert. 2003c. A short morphology, phonology and vocabulary of Kiput, Sarawak. Shorter Grammars. Pacific Linguistics 546. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University.
Blust, Robert. 2005. Must sound change be linguistically motivated? Diachronica 22: 219–269.
Blust, Robert. 2006. The origin of the Kelabit voiced aspirates: a historical hypothesis revisited. Oceanic Linguistics 45.2: 311–338.
Blust, Robert (2009). The Austronesian languages. Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University. ISBN 978-0-85883-602-0.
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