T Arwyn Watkins: Pioneer in Modern Study of Linguistics

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 28, 2003 | Go to article overview
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T Arwyn Watkins: Pioneer in Modern Study of Linguistics


PROFESSOR T ARWYN WATKINS, who died at his home in Swansea this month, was a pioneer in the modern study of linguistics and a leading figure in Welsh dialectology.

His book Ieithyddiaeth (Linguistics) in 1961 was the first modern analysis of Welsh and it has been of wide influence.

He took his degree in Welsh in Swansea in 1949 after a period of Army service and then did research into his native Llansamlet dialect.

He spent a year at universities in Leeds, Zurich and Rennes before being appointed a lecturer in Welsh at Aberystwyth in 1952 where he developed an influential research group.

His own articles were marked by their innovative approach to questions of grammar and especially language interference in bilingual situations.

He was appointed professor of Welsh at University College Dublin in 198l and elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 1984.

He retired in 1989 and returned to Swansea.

He was a shrewd student of language who did not hesitate to criticise some aspects of language policy in Wales. Lively and energetic, his was a naturally friendly and warm personality.

He leaves his wife Gwalia, sons Sion and Rhys, and a daughter, Lona.

ARLOESWR ASTUDIO TAFODIEITHOEDD

Yr oedd yr Athro T Arwyn Watkins a fu farw 4 Awst 2003 yn un o arloeswyr astudio tafodieithoedd Cymru yn ail hanner yr 20fed ganrif ac yn un o'r prif awdurdodau ar hanes datblygiad y Gymraeg.

Ei lyfr ef, Ieithyddiaeth (1961), oedd y dadansoddiad cyntaf o'r iaith yn l dulliau modern sydd bellach yn gyffredin ymhob coleg.

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