Ken Hale

Dan Everett Dan.Everett at MAN.AC.UK
Thu Oct 11 21:40:07 UTC 2001

Tom's eulogy to Ken Hale indeed captures much of the spirit that made Ken so

Words cannot express how much Ken helped me personally, inspired me in so
many ways.

I remember once waiting to talk to Ken in his MIT office. There was a
Visiting Scholar from China ahead of me. When he came out, I asked him how
Ken's Mandarin was. He replied "Just like being home". Another time I asked
Dean & Lucille Saxton, SIL workers among the O'odham (Papago) how well Ken
spoke that language. They said something like, 'we have been here for 30
years working on this language and everytime Ken visits he puts us to shame
with his flawless Papago.' I repeated this story to Ken once and he said
"That's silly. I don't speak it nearly as good as they do."

Humilty, patience, love for language, security, noncompetitive with others.
The greatest fieldworker I have ever known.

MIT has lost an entire library of knowledge and a colleague whom Chomsky
once called  'the Bach of linguistics'. We are all much the poorer for his
loss. I hope that many of us can follow more closely his example of

Dan Everett

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