Category: Faculty

Russell Schuh (1941-2016)

Published: November 8, 2016

Distinguished Professor of Linguistics Russell Schuh passed away on November 8, 2016. Russ was a beloved colleague and outstanding member of our department in teaching, research, and service. He was an outstanding field linguist, specializing in the Chadic languages of Northern Nigeria, and undertook many field expeditions to Nigeria that led to multiple books and journal articles, documenting languages hitherto hardly studied. His theoretical work opened new insights into the typology of tone rules, and his work on sung metrics broke new ground by its close examination of quantitative meter in living languages.  His extensive website documents much of this work. Russell was an educational innovator, teaching our large Linguistics 1 course for many years, ultimately bringing it on line. Russ also invented new courses for our program and devised important teaching materials both for Hausa and Linguistics instruction. He served as a devoted Chair of two departments:  Linguistics in the 1990’s, and later as the last chair of Applied Linguistics.

We will remember Russ for his acute abilities in both scholarship and administration, his great kindness and generosity, and for the very high standards he set himself.

A commemorative webpage has been set up for posting of memories and pictures. Material for this page may be sent to Bruce Hayes at

The department is planning a commemorative gathering during Winter Quarter 2017. To be on the mailing list for this please send a message to

This photo is from the UCLA Daily Bruin, which admired Russ’s sartorial prowess in his public appearances as a teacher of Linguistics 1.