Adam Kilgarriff R.I.P.

« previous post | next post »

I recently learned that Adam Kilgarriff died on Saturday May 16.

The weblog-journal that he maintained since his cancer diagnosis last fall gives a sense of the kind of person he was. The links on his homepage will tell you more about his work as a linguist, from his insights about word meaning (e.g. "I don't believe in word senses", Computers and the Humanities 1997), to his creation of the Sketch Engine, an interactive online system that "lets you see a concordance for any word, phrase or grammatical construction, in one of the corpora that we provide, or in a corpus of your own", and also provides "word sketches, one-page, automatic, corpus-derived summaries of a word's grammatical and collocational behaviour".


  1. Stephen C. Carlson said,

    May 20, 2015 @ 5:34 am

    Wow, that's sad news. I was just reading his thesis last week. One of the most insightful discussions of polysemy. What a loss.

    [(myl) Or his marvelous later paper "I don't believe in word senses", Computers and the Humanities 1997. Apropos of which, this morning's Pearls Before Swine:


  2. John Coleman said,

    May 20, 2015 @ 6:33 am

    A very sad loss. I've been using Adam's BNC word frequency lists for many years; a practical little job of immense lasting value.

  3. Randy Alexander said,

    May 27, 2015 @ 12:37 am

    This is sad news. Geoff Pullum and I attended a talk he was supposed to be giving in Taiwan in 2009 (one of his colleagues gave the talk in his place). I've also gotten a lot of use out of his word lists (and will continue to). I would really have liked to have met him.

RSS feed for comments on this post