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Denis Bouchard

Published onApr 19, 2019
Denis Bouchard

Dear Noam,

I remember vividly the excitement I felt every week, as I was getting ready to meet with you to discuss the progress on my thesis. I was so much aware of the honor I had to work with you. One day of May 1982 sticks out in my mind. At some point near the end of our meeting, you said, “I think I see what you are trying to do.” Then you asked, “How do you deal with [such and such construction],” going over several syntactic constructions involving empty categories that were “hot” in those days. You would take in my answer, look up at the ceiling, your feet resting on the bottom drawer of your desk. I could feel your brain clicking away. Then you fired another question; I answered; your brain clicked away again. Your secretary would show her head at the door every few minutes, reminding you that someone was waiting to see you. Finally, after having gone overtime quite a lot, the meeting was over, and I felt elated, encouraged to pursue my goal.

You changed my life. Thank you.

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