UT associate professor emerita Reet Kasik won the Wiedemann Language Prize

On 8 February, the government of Estonia decided to grant the Ferdinand Johann Wiedemann Language Prize to the dedicated teacher and scholar, University of Tartu associate professor emerita Reet Kasik for her research on word formation, development of text analysis, and educating and encouraging young linguists.

Minister of education and research Mailis Reps congratulated the laureate and expressed gratitude for the contribution Reet Kasik has made to the research and teaching of the Estonian language and to ensuring the sustainability of the language. “Reet Kasik has worked actively and efficiently for decades to promote the value of the Estonian language,” said Reps.

Doctor of Philology Reet Kasik worked for a long time as a teaching staff member at the University of Tartu, and she also worked at the universities of Oulu, Turku and Helsinki. She has authored more than one hundred scientific publications and a number of popular-science articles. Her main fields of research are Estonian word formation, linguistic text analysis, sublanguages of the written language and the history of Estonian linguistics.

Reet Kasik is a leading researcher on word formation, both her candidate of science (1973) and doctoral dissertation (1994) deal with this topic; she has described the entire Estonian word formation system and published two monographs. She also developed the Estonian critical text analysis research. She has introduced the theory and methods of linguistic text analysis, studied the language of the news, advertisements and official communication, and compiled collections of articles and university textbooks.

Reet Kasik has always promoted cooperation between text researchers. She has taught her students, colleagues and, through her popular articles, the general public to critically view texts and how the society is influenced thereby.

Reet Kasik is esteemed and loved by her colleagues and students and is an estimated lecturer for all types of audiences. Her activities and speeches reflect her concern about the younger generations’ native language skills, over the teaching and use of the Estonian language from general education school to doctoral studies.

The Wiedemann Language Prize is presented to the laureate on 20 February in Läänemaa Gymnasium. The ceremony is followed by a formal reception in Haapsalu Cultural Centre. The amount of the prize is 32 000 euros.

F. J. Wiedemann Language Prize is awarded annually to one person for outstanding merits in researching, planning, teaching, promoting or using the Estonian language. In 2017, the Wiedemann Language Prize winner was Marja Kallasmaa; the first laureate of the prize was Henn Saari in 1989.