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Remembering our dear colleague Melissa Bowerman
Researchers and staff at MPI were deeply saddened to learn of the death of Melissa Bowerman, senior scientist emerita of MPI's Language Acquisition Department. Melissa passed away unexpectedly on October 31, after a brief illness.
November 2, 2011
Melissa Bowerman carried the torch of first language acquisition for the institute for over twenty years. She was one of the founders of the modern study of child language. Her work explored how children learn every aspect of language, but she was especially famous for her research on how children learn the meanings of words as they differ across languages. Her contributions to the study of child language and the semantics of words have been hugely influential, recognised in her election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences last October.
"Melissa was a wonderful colleague, ‘mother’ to many PhD students, and constructive critic to all our research staff", says MPI director Stephen Levinson. "Her wide and deep command of the literature on child language was a resource utilised by many of us. She will be deeply missed as researcher, supervisor, supportive friend and warm soul."