Morris Halle

Posted: April 2018

The LSA has learned with regret of the April 2, 2018, death of Life Member and former LSA President (1974) Morris Halle. Halle was a co-creator of MIT Linguistics and famously known for his work The Sound Pattern of English which he co-authroed with Noam Chomsky. His impact on the field of Linguistics is perhaps best and lovingly summarized by his former student, Gary Marcus, in this article, published in The New Yorker for Halle's 90th birthday. Mark Liberman has also posted an obituary for Morris Halle on Language Log, quoting the abstract from "Morris Halle: An Appreciation" in the Annual Review of Linguistics 2015:

"Morris Halle has been one of the most influential figures in modern linguistics. This is partly due to his scientific contributions in many areas: insights into the sound patterns of English and Russian, ideas about the nature of metered verse, ways of thinking about phonological features and rules, and models for argumentation about phonological description and phonological theory. But he has had an equally profound influence through his role as a teacher and mentor, and this personal influence has not been limited to students who follow closely in his intellectual and methodological footsteps. It has been just as strong—or stronger—among researchers who disagree with his specific ideas and even his general approach, or who work in entirely different subfields. This appreciation is a synthesis of reflections from colleagues and former students whom he has formed, informed, and inspired."

An obituary from the LSA will be published in a forthcoming edition of the society's journal Language. The obituary published by MIT can be found here.