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Douglas Pulleyblank

Published onApr 19, 2019
Douglas Pulleyblank

In my first year at MIT, the students in my cohort had a class immediately before “Chomsky’s Thursday afternoon class.” An immediate effect was that in this standing room only class, we stood (at the back). Noam worked with us to get that sorted out, and the stand-out thing about all our interactions with Noam was that he was interested both in our work and in us as people. You did not need some official reason to get input from Noam. For example, when I gave him a copy of my syntax generals paper—and he was not on my committee—he was the first to give me feedback. And on a personal front, when he and others heard about us having a daughter when we arrived at MIT—and pretty much no money—we immediately inherited a bunch of clothes and in particular a warm winter coat for our daughter that had belonged to one of his children. That coat worked its way through all three of our children and then moved on to a new home. Noam was a huge part of what made the department challenging intellectually and supportive at the personal level.

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