Hermann and Klara H. Collitz Professorship

Edward Sapir Professorship

Ken Hale Professorship

Charles Fillmore Professorship

LSA Professorship [discontinued]


Hermann and Klara H. Collitz Professorship

In 1945, the Linguistic Society learned that it was the main legatee in the will of Klara H. Collitz, widow of Hermann Collitz, the first President of the Society. The bequest included the Collitz's residence in Baltimore and their extensive library. Mrs. Collitz's will provided that the proceeds of the sale of this property may be used to establish "the Hermann and Klara H. Collitz Professorship for Comparative Philology (i.e. 'eine Professur fur vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft')". By vergleichende Sprachwissen-schaft, Mrs. Collitz specified, "I mean the term in the sense my husband used it, i.e. including not only Germanic Philology, ancient and modern, but likewise Classical and Oriental Philology, combined with phonetics, folklore, mythology, ethnography, archaeology, dialectology, metrics and subjects related thereto. It shall be in the discretion of the Linguistic Society of America, if such Professorship is established, to select a suitable incumbent as well as a University which offers the best material for comparative Philology in the United States."

In 1963, President Mary Haas appointed a committee of former holders of the Collitz Chair to investigate matters of policy in appointing the Professor and assigning courses at the Institute to him. This committee, known as the Lane Committee, consisted of George Lane, Chair; Eric Hamp; Henry Hoenigswald; and W. Freeman Twaddell. The Lane Committee also reviewed the terms of Mrs. Collitz's bequest and reported that although structural, systematic, transformational, and other kinds of linguistics were not specifically mentioned, these, when pertinent to the subject matter, were not to be excluded. They felt that the omission was an accident of chronology and that "if Hermann Collitz were alive today, he would certainly not ignore the pertinence of a structural approach in modern Indo-European linguistics."

Collitz Professorship Holders

2019 Bernard Comrie, UC Santa Barbara - Watch Collitz lecture
2017 Joan Bybee, University of New Mexico - Watch Collitz lecture
2015 Johanna Nichols, University of California, Berkeley
2013 Lyle Campbell, University of Hawaii, Manoa - Watch Collitz lecture
2011 Alice C. Harris, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
2009 Malcolm Ross, Australian National University
2007 Asko Parpola University of Helsinki
2005 H. Craig Melchert, U North Carolina-Chapel Hill
2003 John R. Rickford, Stanford U
2001 Elizabeth C. Traugott, Stanford U
1999 Sarah Grey Thomason, U Michigan
1997 Ives Goddard, Smithsonian Institution
1995 R. M. W. Dixon, National Australian U
1993 Thomas Gamkrelidze, Tbilisi, Georgia CIS
1991 Jay Jasanoff, Cornell U/Yale U
1989 Michael Silverstein, U Chicago
1987 Joseph Greenberg, Stanford U emeritus
1986 Jochem Schindler, Harvard U
1985 William Moulton, Princeton U
1983 Paul Hopper, SUNY-Binghamton
1982 Wolfgang Dressler, U Vienna
1980 Yakov Malkiel, U California-Berkeley
1979 Calvert Watkins, Harvard U
1978 George Cardona, U Pennsylvania
1977 Fang Kuei Li, U Hawaii-Manoa
1976 Ladislav Zgusta, U Illinois-Champaign/Urbana
1975 Anna Morpurgo Davies, U Oxford
1974 Raimo Anttila, U Helsinki
1973 Paul Kiparsky, MIT
1972 Warren Cowgill, Yale U
1971 Jaan Puhvel, U California-Los Angeles
1970 Hansjakob Seiler, U Cologne
1969 Gordon Fairbanks, Cornell U
1968 W. P. Lehmann, U Texas-Austin
1967 Ronald Crossland, U Sheffield
1966 Werner Winter, U Kiel
1965 F. B. J. Kuiper, Leiden U
1964 Edward Stankiewicz, U Chicago
1963 Oswald Szemerenyi, U C-London
1962 W. Sidney Allen, U Cambridge
1961 Alf Sommerfelt, U Oslo
1960 Eric P. Hamp, U Chicago
1959 Andre Martinet, U Paris
1958 Paul Thieme, Yale U
1957 Jerzy Kurylowicz, U Krakow
1956 Myles L. Dillon, Royal Irish Academy
1955 Henry M. Hoenigswald, U Pennsylvania
1954 George S. Lane, U North Carolina-Chapel Hill
1953 Murray B. Emeneau, U California-Berkeley
1952 W. Freeman Twaddell, Brown U
1951 F. Adelaide Hahn, Hunter C
1950 Franklin Edgerton, Yale U
1949 Joshua Whatmough, Harvard U
1948 E. H. Sturtevant, Yale U


Edward Sapir Professorship (formerly the LSA Professorship)

The Edward Sapir Professorship was established in the Fund for the Future of Linguistics as part of the Society's observance of the Sapir Centennial in 1984. A committee appointed by President Henry Kahane to study the LSA Professorship recommended that the LSA Chair be renamed the Edward Sapir Chair, effective 1 January 1986. The Executive Committee accepted this recommendation and determined that a distinguished scholar was the qualification for the Professorship. 

Sapir Professorship Holders

2019 John Baugh, Washington University at St. Louis - Watch Sapir Lecture
2017 Penelope Eckert, Stanford University - Watch Sapir Lecture
2015 Paul Smolensky, Johns Hopkins University
2013 Janet Pierrehumbert, Northwestern University 
2011 Ivan A. Sag, Stanford 
2009 Donca Steriade, MIT 
2007 Joan Bresnan, Stanford University 
2005 Richard Kayne, NYU
2003 Ray Jackendoff, Brandeis U
2001 Ronald Langacker, U California-San Diego
1999 Arnold Zwicky, Stanford U/Ohio SU
1997 Peter Ladefoged, U California-Los Angeles
1995 Kenneth Hale, MIT
1993 Manfred Bierwisch, Berlin, Germany
1991 Barbara Partee, U Massachusetts-Amherst
1989 Margaret Langdon, U California-San Diego
1987 David Perlmutter, U California-San Diego
1986 William Labov, U Pennsylvania 

LSA Professorship Holders 

1989 Emmon Bach, U Massachusetts-Amherst
1985 John Gumperz, U California-Berkeley
1983 Deirdre Wilson, U London
1982 James D. McCawley, U Chicago
1980 Joshua A. Fishman, Yeshiva U
1979 Charles Fillmore, U California-Berkeley
1978 Charles Osgood, U Illinois-Champaign/Urbana
1977 Fred W. Householder, Indiana U
1976 Joseph Greenberg, Stanford U
1975 Thomas A. Sebeok, Indiana U
1974 Morris Halle, MIT
1973 Charles Ferguson, Stanford U
1972 Robert Armstrong, U Ibadan
1971 Frank Palmer, U Reading
1970 Mary R. Haas, U California-Berkeley
1969 David Abercrombie, U Edinburgh
1968 John Lyons, U Edinburgh
1967 Yuen Ren Chao, U California-Berkeley
1966 Noam Chomsky, MIT
1965 Hans Vogt, U Oslo
1964 M. A. K. Halliday, U C-London
1963 Robert H. Robins, U London
1962 William Haas, U Manchester
1961 W. Sidney Allen, U Cambridge


Ken Hale Professorship

At its May 2003 meeting, the LSA Executive Committee established a professorship in field methods for all future LSA Linguistic Institutes as a way to address the strongly felt need in our profession to document endangered languages and work with communities toward their preservation. Named for Ken Hale, a linguist whose dedication to studying and preserving endangered languages is legendary, the Professorship will ensure that linguistics students have access to courses that prepare them to investigate poorly documented languages even if their own institution does not offer them. 

The Ken Hale Chair is supported through a generous matching grant awarded to the LSA by the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

Hale Professorship Holders

2019 Pamela Munro, University of California, Los Angeles - Watch Ken Hale Lecture
2017 Lenore Grenoble, University of Chicago - Watch Ken Hale Lecture
2015 Anthony Woodbury, University of Texas, Austin
2013 Keren Rice, University of Toronto - Watch Ken Hale Lecture
2011 Nick Evans, Australian National University
2009 Stephen C. Levinson, MPI Nijmegen
2007 Marianne Mithun, University of California, Los Angeles
2005 Mary Laughren, Jane Simpson, and David Nash


Charles Fillmore Professorship

The scope of Charles Fillmore’s interest in language phenomena was comprehensive rather than narrowly circumscribed. He was intrigued by all facets of language phenomena; his own studies ranged across several areas of linguistic research. His work began in phonetics but moved on to syntax, semantics, pragmatics and lexicography. His lifelong quest was to understand how language worked, and what speakers of a language knew that enabled them to be fluent and capable users of that knowledge. Moreover, he was interested in the relevance of linguistic theory and research to other disciplines, such as cognitive science, lexicography, education, law, neuroscience, and computer science. In the later decades of Fillmore’s career, his research focused on corpus-based studies of words in their conceptual frames. This resulted in the development of the FrameNet Project, an online computational lexicographic database and set of research tools for the study of words and constructions based on his work on Frame Semantics.

Since the endowment will extend for many years, the Charles Fillmore Professorship should not be restricted to any single perspective on linguistic analysis or any particular subfield in Linguistics. Rather, it is intended to recognize Fillmore’s lifelong work on empirically challenging linguistic phenomena and the careful description of language. Thus, the Professorship will honor an individual at any career stage whose research reflects an exceptional understanding of language and the promise of a lasting contribution to its study, as well as a synthesis of linguistic theory with other interdependent disciplines.

Fillmore Professorship Holders

2019 Adele Goldberg, Princeton University 
2017 Julia Hirschberg, Columbia University - Watch Fillmore Lecture
2015  Dan Jurafsky, Stanford University