D. Gary Miller (1942–2019), renowned Indo-Europeanist and theoretical linguist, has died at the age of 76. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Gary Miller attended Moravian College as an undergraduate. He received his PhD from Harvard in 1969, with a dissertation entitled Studies in Some Forms of the Genitive Singular in Indo-European. He subsequently taught at the University of Illinois and McGill, for one year each, followed by an academic career of 40 years at the University of Florida. He retired at the University of Colorado in 2011.
Gary Miller’s knowledge and interests were as broad as they were deep. Among his many publications are a dozen books that attest to the truly extraordinary range of his expertise: Homer and the Ionian Epic Tradition (1982, Innsbruck), Improvisation, Typology, Culture, and ‘The New Orthodoxy’: How Oral is Homer? (1982, University Press of America), Complex Verb Formation (1993, Benjamins), Ancient Scripts and Phonological Knowledge (1994, Benjamins), Nonfinite Structures in Theory and Change (2002, OUP), Latin Suffixal Derivatives in English and Their Indo-European Ancestry(2006, rev. 2012, OUP), Language Change and Linguistic Theory, 2 vols. (2010, OUP), External Influences on English: From Its Beginnings to the Renaissance (2012, OUP), Ancient Greek Dialects and Early Authors: Introduction to the Dialect Mixture in Homer, with Notes on Lyric and Herodotus (2014, de Gruyter), English Lexicogenesis (2014, OUP).
Gary Miller’s major contribution to Germanic linguistics is his 700-page book entitled The Oxford Gothic Grammar (2019, OUP) – a monumental achievement of scholarship that will excite and enlighten scholars and researchers for generations to come.
In addition to his remarkable academic achievements, Gary Miller was an accomplished cook. In 2019 he self-published a cook book entitled Christmas Elegance. As a wonderful friend and a tireless and generous teacher and mentor, Gary is grieved by many students and colleagues around the world. He is survived by his loving wife Judith, daughter Blair, and son Scott.