A leading ambassador for the study of linguistics, Ivan Sag was a world-renowned researcher and teacher and one of the founders of Stanford's Center for the Study of Language and Information. He also played keyboards in a band known as the Dead Tongues.
Ivan was really passionate about linguistics, about understanding what makes human language possible, and he had great charisma for communicating this passion. You couldn't be around him without wanting to understand the answers to the questions he was always asking.
No other linguist matched his combination of attention to formal rigor, empirical grounding and broad coverage.
He got things done: workshops organized, contacts made, groups of people brought together, collaborative projects developed.
The whole profession will mourn him.
Ivan had a great wisdom for helping students develop the ability to criticize constructively, whether it was a paper they were reading or just questioning each other's assumptions.
Ivan would cook students dinner and have classes in the evening and talk about grammar over beer, and throw a barbecue or a jam session if [former students] were in town.
His taste for big questions, his endless curiosity about language, his appetite for life and for solving linguistic mysteries have all served as an example for how exciting and lively intellectual life can be. From the start, Ivan has not only been an exceptional mentor, but also a great friend.
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Pennsylvania
- Daniel Jurafsky
- Department of Linguistics
- University of Rochester
- Noam Chomsky
- University of Bucharest
- Study of Language and Information
- Linguistic Society of America
- Ivan Sag
- Linguistic Institute