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Michael S. Flier, David J. Birnbaum, and Cynthia M. Vakareliyska, eds. Philology Broad and Deep: In Memoriam Horace G. Lunt. Bloomington, IN: Slavica, 2014, 1–6. Introduction At the end of his first year at Harvard in 1937–38, Horace Lunt decided to concentrate in Russian studies on the basis of his recent study of the language, so different from the Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, and German he had already pursued before coming to Cambridge. His adviser, Samuel Hazzard Cross, encouraged him to stay with German instead, because in Russian “there is no chance for a job.” Lunt received his degree magna cum laude in German in 1941 with a senior honors thesis on Herman Hesse, but he had been bitten by the Russian bug and ultimately ignored Cross’s wellmeaning advice, going on to become one of the world’s leading experts in Slavic philology and linguistics. Horace Gray Lunt, Samuel Hazzard Cross Professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Emeritus, at Harvard University, passed away on 11 August 2010, in Baltimore , scarcely a month short of his ninety-second birthday. At Harvard he was a member of the Slavic Department faculty from 1949 to 1989 and served as its chair from 1959 to 1974. Lunt served on the Executive Committee of the Russian Research Center (now the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies) from 1965 to 1992, and on the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian Research Institute from its founding in 1973 to 1991. He was Director of the Slavic and East European Language and Area Center from 1983 to 1989. Armed with considerable linguistic and analytic skills, Lunt was instrumental in reshaping Slavic philology in the United States in structuralist terms. He insisted on the highest standards of textual analysis, providing new pedagogical tools for the post-World War II generation of American Slavists, investigating less studied areas of Slavic linguistics, and indicating new projects for in-depth study in Slavic languages, literatures, and cultures. A staunch foe of nationalistic exploitation of language for political purposes, Lunt strove his entire career to ensure that linguistic argumentation rested on a rational, factual basis, countering any discussion based on nationalism or demagoguery. Lunt was a superlative teacher, providing his students, undergraduate as well as graduate, with abundant handouts, charts, texts, and textbooks to ensure comprehensive understanding of the subject matter at hand, with clarity and accuracy his guiding principles. His interests in Slavic languages were wide-ranging, from paleography, phonology, morphology, and syntax to etymology, sociolinguistics, history, literature, and religion, and he leaves behind a large bibliography of published books, articles, and reviews. Lunt was born Horace Gray Lunt II in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on 12 September 1918, son of Horace Fletcher Lunt (Harvard 1898) and Irene Jewett Lunt, and the grandson of Horace Gray Lunt (Harvard 1870), his namesake. He was the young- 2 Michael S. Flier est of four children and the only son. He traced his ancestry back to the Englishman Henry Lunt, who founded Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1634. His great-grandfather Orrington Lunt, together with John Evans, founded Northwestern University in the newly settled Chicago suburb of Evanston in 1851. Following early public schooling in Denver, Lunt attended the Kent School in Connecticut from 1932 to 1937, graduating at the head of his class, having demonstrated a particular talent for languages. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1941, Lunt made his way to Berkeley to complete a one-year master’s degree program in Russian with George Rapall Noyes and Alexander Kaun. Drafted into the army in September 1942, Lunt demonstrated typing skills that resulted in his swift promotion to corporal as the head of his Louisiana medical unit (despite his lack of medical training). His aptitude for learning languages soon earned him a transfer to the Counter Intelligence Corps and a new assignment in Egypt followed by a stint in Italy, interviewing Yugoslav refugees, where he embellished his knowledge of Serbian and Croatian and learned Slovene as well. He returned to Berkeley in November 1945 to accept a teaching assistantship in Russian for the academic year. In the summer of 1946 he decided to develop his knowledge of modern linguistics by enrolling in the Linguistic Society of America Summer Linguistic Institute, held at the University of Michigan. It was here that he took classes from some of the leading American descriptivists of the day and that he made the acquaintance of the eminent émigré Russian structuralist Roman Jakobson, who had finally found a permanent...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9780893578985
Related ISBN
9780893573980
MARC Record
OCLC
898005441
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-10
Language
English
Open Access
No
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