Messages for Steve

Please send Steve a message by leaving a comment below.

26 thoughts on “Messages for Steve

  1. Dear Steve,

    When I came to Yale, I was interested in many seemingly different topics, but as I took more classes with you, I realized that all those things seemed to wind up coming down to morphology. I am grateful for all the kind advice and tough questions during my time here, and for laying down so much of the theoretical groundwork upon which I have built my dissertation (which I promise I will finish!).

    All the best,


  2. When I first moved down to the DC area I did not understand that Baltimore was just a short drive up 95. I owe my geographical education to you Steve. Some are lucky enough to have colleagues that teach them and even enlighten them. Some are lucky enough to have colleagues that feed them. In you I found a colleague that both fed and enlightened in tandem. Since you left the area my education has suffered. The upside is that I’ve lost 15 pounds. Were I given a choice I would have kept the 15 and you. Now that you are (ahem) retiring I hope that you will make frequent trips to DC. I fear that without them I might be sucked into DM. You have a responsibility here. Don’t shirk it. Your bedroom is ready.


  3. Dear Steve,
    I will never forget the time we spent together in The Hague when you were stranded in The Netherlands because of the Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name. Meeting you was such a great experience! I knew you only by name, as a very famous linguist, so I was a bit intimidated by the idea that I would meet you for dinner; but that was one of the most pleasant dinners ever! I learnt a lot, and we had a lot of fun discussing Italian food and Rhaeto-Romance (which doesn’t exist!)

    Thank you so much for being so kind and friendly, for coming to my talk and giving me great feedback, for showing that a great linguist can also be a great person. Thanks for all you have given to linguistics!
    Hope to see you around very soon, with some good Italian food!


  4. Dear Steve,
    Congratulations on a career that’s brought so much richness to so many. Thanks for guiding me wisely through those years of discovery at Yale, and especially, for opening up the wonders of morphology to all who will follow for generations to come.
    Very best wishes,
    from Erich (and Tintin!)

  5. Dear Steve,
    Congratulations on a career of strong opinions, always backed up by creative and careful thought and critical “sympathy” for the opinions of others. I hope NC will allow you to pursue your many talents, including great Cassoulet, ,that you and Janine will have a ball, and that we remain in touch.
    all the best, amy

  6. Dear Steve,

    Schæffergården in Denmark in the summer of 1971 – seems a long time ago, doesn’t it? That was my first introduction to generative linguistics and then there was no turning back. It was mainly because of you that I applied to Harvard a couple of years later and I have always thought that it was mainly because of you that I was accepted. Thanks for the classes back then and all the support and guidance – and for the friendship and everything ever since. Thanks for the visits to Iceland, to come and teach at the summer school in Flúðir etc. And thanks for bringing peanut butter way back when it wasn’t available in Iceland.

    I’m very happy to be able to come to Yale and thank you in person! I look forward to it.

    All the best,


  7. Dear Steve,

    Congratulations on your “promotion”! I look forward to learning even more from you in the coming years (and Lauren and I renew our friendship and hope to see you and Janine out in Berkeley again some time soon!) All the best, Larry

  8. Dear Steve,

    Many congratulations on this inflection point in your career for which “retirement” is entirely the wrong concept (better “graduation”). I wish I could be there for your symposium, but I’ll be wishing you well from afar. I’ll always remember not only your scholarly guidance, but the best single piece of personal advice I’ve ever had from anyone.

    all best wishes for the future,

  9. Dear Steve,

    I have so many things to thank you for, that I don’t even know where to start. I thank you for all you did for our field. I thank you for all you have done for the Linguistics Department at Yale, coming in at a difficult moment and setting it on a solid course for the future. I thank you for sharing your clear reasoning and insights with us, and inspiring us all to set a very high standard for any kind of argumentation. On a more personal level, I thank you for having trust in me and offering me a wonderful opportunity to grow intellectually and personally by joining your department at Yale. My life wouldn’t be as rich and fulfilling if it hadn’t been for you.

    Best wishes and many thanks,


  10. Cher Steve,
    Toutes mes félicitations pour l’énorme travail que tu as fait pour la communauté des linguistes, et ton soutien qui a duré des années à notre département et notre université à Genève. J’avais croisé un concurrent (pour le 19ICL), j’ai découvert un ami, et depuis 2009, nous n’arrêtons pas de nous voir et de participer ensemble à des activités communes.
    Many thanks for what you have learned to me, and for the very agreeable moments we shared; I am sure that we will still have such opportunities. to meet and to talk.

  11. Thank you so much for getting me where I am today, Steve. I hope one day I’ll be able to write and teach half as well as you do!

  12. Hi Steve

    Congratulations on all you’ve achieved, in morphology and phonology, in publishing so many insightful works and in guiding the LSA at a tricky time. Thank you especially for helping SMG along at a critical moment, when your support and enthusiasm made a huge difference.

    All good wishes

  13. Dear Steve
    You seem to have had at least four totally different, yet intersecting, careers in linguistics. All of them are amazing. You’ve influenced so many sub-fields, and you’ve produced great work in all of them. An inspiration to us all. Thanks for everythingl! And now… what about that book on language evolution? 🙂

  14. Dear Steve,
    Warmest good wishes for your ‘retirement’, and many thanks for being such a powerful stimulus to thought over so many years.

    Graztga fitg!

    Martin Maiden

  15. I have always admired you for your many talents: the broadness of your interest, the clarity of your style and of your thinking, the energy with which you have engaged in many activities.

    Linguists have in the past decades become extremely specialized; maybe overly so, in the sense that even people in neighbouring subdisciplines (let’s say, morphology and phonology) hardly talk to each other. This in turn has led to a strange kind of essentialism in some parts of the literature, claiming that language is ‘really’ only e.g. syntax, or pragmatics, or statistical distribution. You can sometimes observe clashes between people believing in different ‘essences’, and very few people who can take a different view.

    Your articles and books have meant a lot to me for understanding both the foundations of the field and aspects of e.g. phonology and morphology. I am looking forward to the hopefully many more publications to come!

  16. Dear Steve,
    I wish I could be there for your symposium in person, to celebrate you, your amazing career and contributions (not really your “retirement” – I think the field needs you today as much as ever).

    Beyond all you’ve been doing in and for our field over the past decades, I would like to thank you here also for everything you’ve done for me personally. Thank you for taking over as my dissertation supervisor at UCLA in spite of my work being in pure syntax – and based on a language (one of the few) that you had not worked on yourself. I still utilize your guidance and cite your advice to my students at Tel Aviv U. on what kind of work can be of lasting value in linguistic research. And thank you for your support, understanding and hospitality during some very difficult periods in my life – from the dinners at your place in Santa Monica during the UCLA times, to my visits to New Haven in recent years.

    Wish you a wonderful , peaceful yet exciting and active, “retirement” – and lots of happiness!


  17. Thank you for inspiring a central aspect of my dissertation! I’ve never fully gotten over the fascination that your paper on Icelandic -st verbs instilled in me, as I was just starting to find my way in linguistics.

  18. Thanks for writing so capably about sign languages, and welcoming the diversity of human languages into your work. You’ve set a model for modern linguistics, to write about languages in all their complicated forms, as vexing as they may be. You’ve been a guide for those who follow, setting a tone and a view of the world that others must recognize as essential to understanding the human capacity for language.

  19. I am grateful to Steve Anderson for the positive role that he played when at Johns Hopkins both in my own career and in the department as a whole. His own long career has been a paramount example of commitment to scholarship and to the profession. His work to date is a monumental array of enduring contributions to virtually all areas of linguistics. I can only wish him for a retirement that would match, in happiness, the level of his past accomplishments.

    Luigi Burzio (Professor Emeritus, the Johns Hopkins University)

  20. Dear Steve,
    Thanks for pulling the Yale department out of the doldrums. You were the perfect person to do so, and your many years as chair are much appreciated.
    Your many contributions to linguistics will, I believe, stand the test of time. And so many aspects of what is, despite its apparent narrowness, a very broad field.
    Have fun in North Carolina, but don’t fail to visit chilly New England once in a while.
    Doug DhW

  21. Dear Steve,

    Thank you for welcoming me to the field of linguistics, and for many years of support, guidance, and friendship!

    I wish you a happy “retirement”: I wish I could be there for the symposium but I will be raising a glass from afar.


  22. Hi Steve:


    I remember you kindly scolding first-year me for not calling you “Steve”.

    I remember being a poor student in your seminar on Icelandic syntax.

    I remember us nudging you out of your comfort zone at a party at Tracy’s house.

    I remember you taking me out for dinner in Cambridge.

    But mostly I remember the teacher, scholar, and mensch who kept me on this path.

    Thank you.

    mike h.

  23. Thank you, Steve, for your leading role in the modern redefinition of the field of morphology. I wish you a most pleasant and restful retirement, but one that also opens new spheres of creative activity.


  24. Congratulations and my heartfelt gratitude for all you have done, and I just bet “retirement” is not the right label for what you will create next. I wish you much joy.
    Donna Jo

  25. Dear Steve, thank you for your support and friendship over the years and for all your wonderful contributions to our field. Here’s wishing you an exciting symposium and a happy retirement.


  26. Dear Steve, Many congratulations on your retirement, the symposium, and all else that happens on this special day! Wish I could be there — much love from afar —


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *