vale Geoff O’Grady

As Jane wrote, Geoff O’Grady passed away at the end of December.

I only started working with Geoff relatively recently, and never met him in person (although we’ve been chatting on the phone and through email fairly regularly for some years now). My first contact with Geoff was in 2001 when Harold Koch and I were preparing a workshop on subgrouping in Pama-Nyungan and other Australian families, when Geoff and Ken Hale contributed a paper to the volume in defense of Pama-Nyungan. We kept in touch sporadically and in 2006-7 started work with Barry Alpher on a paper which appeared in the volume Morphology and Language History in mid-2008. Geoff continued work on Pama-Nyungan reconstruction until very recently, and although our conversations got shorter as he tired more quickly, he was still extremely sharp, full of good humour and always ready for a good argument, especially about semantic shift.

Geoff, along with Ken Hale and Stefan Wurm, published the first map which uses the term Pama-Nyungan.

We’ll miss you, Geoff.


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