* January 12, 1943 † December 29, 2017
Elisabeth Piirainen is known in linguistics not least by her studies on Widespread Idioms in Europe and Beyond. However, this was only the result of various fields of interest. It begun with extensive research on the phraseology of an old Low German dialect, Westmünsterländisch. The exploration of this basis dialect which almost exclusively existed in oral form pointed out clear differences to the standard language phraseology and questioned some of its results. Several new research approaches have emerged directly from the work on dialect phraseology, such as investigating into gender-restricted idioms, lexicalized word play, regional language idioms, areal phraseology, Eurolinguistics, lesser-used languages and Language Endangerment.