Messages of condolence and memories
Leigh Lisker (1918 - 2006)
My association with Professor Lisker goes back to 1954-55, when he was my teacher in phonetics while I was a graduate student of linguistics at Penn. Actually, I was supported at Penn by him from his grant from the ACLS for preparing a book on Telugu. I was his consultant in Telugu, or ‘informant’ as was said in those days. Professor Lisker’s book An Introduction to Spoken Telugu was published in 1963, and I recall most of the conversations there I helped concoct. Our collaboration continued at Penn and at the Haskins Laboratory until about 1986.
He was very kind and often invited me for dinner at his house outside Philadelphia. He visited my wife and me with Sara when I was in Visakhapatnam in the late fifties once and a couple of times in Hyderabad during 1962-86. In Hyderabad in 1985, we both worked on the data to write a paper on phonetic accent in Telugu. Professor Lisker presented that joint paper at the International Congress of Phonetics. Recently he visited my wife and me for dinner with his daughter Carol when we were at Princeton during 1999-2000, after the sad demise of Sara.
Professor Lisker was soft-spoken, kind hearted and very affectionate to his students. We will miss him for a long time to come. May his soul rest in peace!
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