The members of the PIAC community mourn Alexander (Sasha) Vovin, directeur d’études, Centre de recherches linguistiques sur l’Asie orientale (CRLAO), École des hautes études en sciences sociales (ÉHESS), who passed away in Paris on April 8, 2022. He leaves to the academic world a rich and complex oeuvre encompassing trail-blazing studies in historical linguistics on ancient and classical East Asian languages, in particular Japanese, Korean, Mongolic and Tungusic. His research interests and the vast number of his published works cover many more languages and approaches, and inspired and will continue to inspire a large circle of colleagues and students all over the world. Alexander Vovin was not only an exceptional scholar but also served the academic community in his capacity of academic teacher, editor, referee, convenor of conferences and recipient of research funds.
Sasha was a longtime friend and supporter of the PIAC. In 1986 he attended an Annual Meeting (Tashkent) for the first time. At the Meeting in 2017 (Székesfehérvár) which he attended with his wife Sambi Ishisaki-Vovin and two children, he presented first results of the spectacular analysis of the Brahmi Khüis Tolgoi and Bugut inscriptions, a project which he developed jointly with other PIAC colleagues D. Maue, M. Ölmez and E. de la Vaissière.
Sasha was a wonderful companion, sociable, outgoing and endowed with a rare sense of humour, not to forget his refreshing talent for constructive criticism. The PIAC community will greatly miss this unusually successful scholar and esteemed friend.
April 10, 2022