The following tribute was posted by Andrew Hardie on the blog of Lancaster University's Centre for Corpus Approaches to Social Science (CASS).
It is with great sorrow that we report the death on 19th August of Professor Geoffrey Leech.
Geoff was not only the founder of the UCREL research centre for corpus linguistics at Lancaster University, he was also the first Professor and founding Head of the Department of Linguistics and English Language. His contributions to linguistics – not only in corpus linguistics, but also in English grammar, pragmatics and stylistics – were immense. After his retirement in 2002, he remained an active member of our department, not only continuing his own research but also, characteristically, providing advice, support and encouragement for students and junior colleagues.
All our thoughts are with Geoff’s wife Fanny, and with his family.
It is still hard for us to find the right words at this time. For many of us he was an inspirational teacher and mentor, but for all of us, he was a kind and generous friend.
The video below was recorded by Tony McEnery in conversation with Geoff in late 2013 for Lancaster’s online course in corpus linguistics. In it, Tony and Geoff discuss the history of the field. We present it now publicly as a first tribute to Geoff’s life and work.