In Memoriam: Arthur Abramson, Founding Department Head of Linguistics

Black and white photo of Arthur Abramson

Arthur S. Abramson, Professor Emeritus of UConn’s Department of Linguistics. (Photo courtesy John Ohala, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of California Berkeley)

Arthur S. Abramson, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics, has passed away.

Abramson was a profoundly influential experimental phonetician and a cornerstone of linguistics at the University of Connecticut. He founded the Department of Linguistics in 1967, together with Ignatius Mattingly and Philip Lieberman, and served as department head from 1967 to 1974.

He served as President of the Linguistics Society of America in 1983 and was a member of the inaugural class of LSA Fellows in 2006. In addition, he was associated with Haskins Laboratories as a research scientist continuously from 1959, most recently as Emeritus Senior Scientist.

Abramson’s work with Leigh Lisker on voice onset time is one of the true classics of the field. His work on Southeast Asian languages, particularly Thai, was also influential.

Abramson was well known in the UConn community as a wonderful colleague who brought a great sense of humor and camaraderie to his work. He will be truly missed.

By: Combined Reports

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