Widgets Magazine

Ivan Sag, Stanford linguistics professor, dies at 63

Ivan Sag, professor of linguistics and symbolic systems, died at age 63 earlier this month after a long battle with cancer.

A world-renowned researcher who made notable contributions to the fields of syntax, semantics, pragmatics and language processing, Sag was an active member of the Linguistics Society of America for more than 30 years and authored or co-authored 10 books in linguistics.

He co-founded Stanford’s Center for the Study of Language and Information in 1983 and helped create the Symbolic Systems Program at Stanford, later serving as its director for five years.

Aside from his academic work, Sag will be remembered by the Stanford community as the founder and leader of Dead Tongues, the unofficial rock ‘n’ roll band of the Linguistics Department.

Sag was a professor and mentor for many, often inviting students to his home, and he received a Dean’s Award for teaching in 1982.

In April 2013, many of Sag’s former students came to attend the three-day “Ivan Fest,” a conference held in honor of the 40th anniversary of Sag’s professional work.

Sag is survived by his wife, Penelope Eckert, a professor of linguistics at Stanford.

About Catherine Zaw

Catherine Zaw was formerly the Managing Editor of News for Vol. 245 and Vol. 246. To contact her, please email czaw13@gmail.com.