Emeritus Professor Otto J. Sadovszky
May 17, 2004 :: No. 250
Otto J. Sandovszky (1979)
Otto J. Sadovszky, emeritus professor of anthropology
at Cal State Fullerton, died May 12 of a brain aneurism. The
Fullerton resident was 78 years old.
Colleagues, friends and former students are invited
to share their reminiscences of Sadovszky at 5 p.m. Friday, May
21, in McCarthy Hall, Room 420.
Sadovszky joined the Cal State Fullerton faculty in
1970 and in 1971 was named the university’s first permanent
director of academic advisement.
He was acclaimed in academic circles for his contributions
in comparative linguistics. His formulation of the Cal-Ugrian Theory,
which showed the linguistic connection between Siberian and California
Indian languages, was considered a significant discovery by the
international scholarly community. In 1986, the BBC aired a report
on his linguistic discoveries. Sadovszky also was an authority on
Siberian and American Indian shamanism.
On campus, he guided the linguistic research work
of dozens of graduate students in the university’s Anthropology
Though granted emeritus status in 1991, he continued
to teach until 1994 and pursued his research interests in the years
Sadovszky, who grew up in Hungary during World War
II, earned an advanced degree in philosophy at the Collegium Aloysianum
in Italy and a doctorate in Indo-European studies and anthropology
He conducted linguistic fieldwork among the Washoe
Indians at Lake Tahoe, as well as archeological fieldwork in cooperation
with Princeton University and the Smithsonian Institute in Yugoslavia.
His special interests included linguistic and cultural
prehistory, Indo-European languages (Sanskrit, Avestan, Hittite,
Gothic, Old Irish), Siberia (Uralic linguistics) and California
Indians (comparative methodology). Before joining the Cal State
Fullerton faculty, he taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA, the University
of Nevada, Reno and in Germany.
He also served as a member of the U.S. delegation
on several international congresses and on the executive council
of the Finno-Ugrian Studies Association of Canada.
He is survived by his wife, Maria, two children and
Media Contact: Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs,
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