Morris Halle

Morris Halle
Born (1923-07-23) July 23, 1923
Liepāja, Latvia
Fields Phonology, morphology, generative grammar
Institutions MIT
Alma mater Harvard, Columbia University, University of Chicago, City College of New York
Doctoral advisor Roman Jakobson

Morris Halle (/ˈhæli/; Latvian: Moriss Pinkovics; born Morris Pinkowitz; July 23, 1923),[1] is a Latvian-American linguist and an Institute Professor and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is best known for his pioneering work in generative phonology, having written "On Accent and Juncture in English" in 1956 with Noam Chomsky and Fred Lukoff and The Sound Pattern of English in 1968 with Chomsky. He also co-authored (with Samuel Jay Keyser) the earliest theory of generative metrics.


Halle was born Jewish in Liepāja, Latvia, in 1923, and moved with his family to Riga in 1929. They arrived in the United States in 1940. From 1941 to 1943, he studied engineering at the City College of New York. He entered the United States Army in 1943 and was discharged in 1946, at which point he went to the University of Chicago, where he got his master's degree in linguistics in 1948. He then studied at Columbia University under Roman Jakobson, became a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1951, and earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1955. He retired from MIT in 1996, but he remains active in research and publication. He is fluent in German, Yiddish, Latvian, Russian, Hebrew and English.

Halle was married for fifty-six years to artist Rosamond Thaxter Strong Halle, until her death in April 2011. He has three sons, David, John and Timothy.

Halle currently resides in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


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