Remembering Cathe

Catherine Phebe Browman, one of the pioneers in the field of Laboratory Phonology, died Friday July 18. She struggled for 21 years with MS, and died very peacefully at home, surrounded by her long-time partner, Louis Goldstein, and all the dedicated, loving caregivers who made it possible to live out her life in the beauty and peace of her home.

Cathe was born in Missoula, MT. She had several passions outside of linguistics. The two strongest were hiking, particularly in Montana and in the Southwest, and dance. In the late 1980ʼs, she taught and led the Dances of Universal Peace in New Jersey and then Connecticut. See Obituary [PDF]


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Name: Hector Javkin

Aside from her accomplishments, the things that stand out for me about Cathe were her laughter and her ability to adapt. The laughter, whether brought on by someone else or by her, was infectious. She loved natural settings, yet for years she spent most of her time either in her tiny windowless office at UCLA or in the tiny enclosed space she shared with Louis in the old Haskins building. She loved physical activity, to the point of performing on the rings in Venice Beach, and yet she learned to adapt to her growing disability. With Louis next to her, describing benefits available for persons with MS, she said, "Connecticut is a good place to have MS." Louis answered that there was no good place to have MS, and I thought that Cathe showed a hint of the expression that had once accompanied her laughter.




Dear Louis,

I didn't know Cathe but from her picture I can tell that she brought you a great deal of joy. No greater gift. No greater loss. I am sorry for that loss.



cathe xmas

Cathe loved caroling at the annual Haskins Holiday parties.

yvonne manning-jones



Christian ABRY
Just having thoughts wandering about the photos of Cathy and my favourite Louis' body parts on this page.

Louis: you were true in telling her that Haskins would remain what I dub as he last "havre de paix pour les sciences de la parole".



Name: Doug Whalen

Cathe was a great colleague. She shaped my thinking on phonology, and I keep coming back to problems we discussed. Somehow, the discussions seem current, even though we have been unable to discuss them directly for years. This is a testament, perhaps, to my slow thinking, but I would like to think it's a testament to Cathe's taking on the hard problems. If these were easy problems, we would have solved them by now. Cathe's work continues, hopefully, in the efforts of all her colleagues.

It would just be much better if she could be part of it herself. I miss her.


Name: Jay Ross E-mail:

Cathe was my dear friend. I did not know her in the professional world but I'm sure that there, as always, she was brilliant and strong and always thinking. I valued her love all her life and will miss her deeply. I will turn to the Montana we both held dear. And I will thank Louis for the enduring love that made her long fight both possible and inspiring. Love you both, thanks to you both, Jay.



Thank you to Jay Ross for providing the following photos.

Jay Ross and Cathe in Missoula, 1993


Cathe with my daughter, Katheryn, up the Swan in Montana, 1991.


The last time Cathe visited Holland Lake, (L t oR) Cathe, myself (Jay Ross) and Judy Holbrook.