Professor Stephen Anderson

The Yale Department of Linguistics was thrilled to hold a symposium on May 18, 2017 to honor its longtime colleague and chair, Stephen R. Anderson. Steve is a renaissance linguist, fascinated with tout ce qui touche à la langue. Unique among leaders in the field, his career has been marked by continuing fundamental contributions across the areas of language science, including phonology, syntax, and especially morphology. With characteristic scholarship and precision, his work has shaped current understanding of linguistic structure, teaching us, among much else, that phonological rules can be locally ordered, that morphology is a-morphous and word-based, and that clitics (and maybe even Germanic verbs) are optimal. Through enlightened guidance and administrative wizardry, Steve fashioned a department which is thoroughly modern in its focus, but distinctively attentive to the field’s (and the department’s) rich intellectual heritage.