HOUSTON: Noted Indian-American Professor Emeritus of Linguistics Braj B Kachru has passed away in Urbana.
He was 84. Braj Kachru, a Jubilee Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, died on July 29. Kachru is survived by his daughter and son.
He was born on May 15 in 1932 in Srinagar. Kachru married Yamuna Keskar who died on April 19 in 2013. He was a member of the Indian Cultural Society, The Linguistic Society of America and the founder of the International Association of World Englishes. He coined the term World English and published extensive studies on Kashmiri. At the University of Illinois, Braj headed the Department of Linguistics (1968–79), directed the Division of English as an International Language (1985–91), and was director of the Center for Advanced Study (June 1996 – January 2000).
At the Linguistic Institute of the Linguistic Society of America, he was appointed director in 1978. He was the president of American Association of Applied Linguistics (1984).
He was named Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Illinois in 1992. In 1998, he became the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund Visiting Professor at Hong Kong University.
He went on to become the president of the International Association for World Englishes (1997–99), and eventually the Honorary Fellow of the Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, (now English and Foreign Languages University) in Hyderabad in 2001.
Kachru has authored and edited over 25 books and more than 100 research papers, reviews and review articles. He was on the editorial board of journals such as Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural development, International Journal of the Sociology of Languages, Asian Englishes and Linguistics and the Human Sciences.
Along with authoring the prize-winning The Alchemy of English: The Spread, Functions and Models of Non-Native Englishes, Kachru was also the associate editor for Contributor to the Cambridge History of the English Language and the acclaimed The Oxford Companion to the English Language.