This is the second festschrift Lass has received in recent years, the first bestowed on him by the University of Posnan in Poland when he turned 60. The latest honorific takes the shape of a special edition of the Linguistic Department's international journal, Language Sciences, edited by Associate Professor Nigel Love.
The festschrift issue, entitled "Collecting Views on Language Change", was edited by one of Lass' former students, Professor Raymond Hickey of the University of Essen in Germany. Contributors include a number of Lass' former colleagues and students from UCT and Europe.
"It's a measure of Roger Lass' international standing that most of the contributions are from outside South Africa," emphasised Professor Raj Mesthrie, Head of the UCT Department of Linguistics and one of the UCT contributors.
Speaking at the handover of the festschrift in early August, Associate Professor Kay McCormick pointed out that Lass is not just renowned for his love of cats and debate, but also for his extensive work in linguistics. English and Germanic languages, phonetics and philology, and evolutionary theory and language have been among his many areas of interest.
Lass was awarded a distinguished professorship in historical and comparative languages by UCT in 1999. In addition to his scholarly work, he remains a regular panellist on SAfm's Word of Mouth, where he tackles an assortment of questions on the English language.
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