Paul Kiparsky honored for lifetime achievement in linguistics

PAUL KIPARSKY, the Robert M. and Anne T. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, has been awarded the Neil and Saras Smith Award for Linguistics, which recognizes a lifetime of achievement and significant contribution in the field of linguistics.

Paul Kiparsky

The award, given by the British Academy, recognizes a linguist of any nationality whose career has demonstrated the highest standards of achievement and scholarship. 

Kiparsky, a native of Finland, studied linguistics at MIT, and taught there from 1965 to 1984 when he joined the Stanford Linguistics Department. 

He has written on phonology and historical linguistics (Explanation in Phonology, 1982), on morphology and syntax and on poetics (Rhythm and Meter, with G. Youmans, 1989), and has directed more than 40 dissertations in these areas.

In collaboration with the late S.D. Joshi, he recovered the lost principles behind the Astadhyayi (Panini as a Variationist, 1979, Some Theoretical Problems in Panini’s Grammar, 1982, On the Architecture of Panini’s Grammar, 2002).

He is currently working on how words are structured, how the vocabulary of a language is organized, how the meaning of words determines their syntactic properties and what all this tells us about language and the mind.

Among his other awards are the Alexander von Humboldt Prize and the Swedish Academy Prize.

Read more on the web pages of the British Academy.