The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Issue of Monday, January 8th, 2018

A statement about yesterday’s news

A statement from MIT faculty in Linguistics (January 12, 2018, updated January 16)

As linguists and human beings, we stand in appalled opposition to yesterday’s reported statement by Donald Trump that disparaged in grotesque racist terms the populations, cultures and circumstances of an array of countries. These include the native countries of treasured colleagues, students, and visitors to our department, past and present. We stress, now and forever, the utter incompatibility of such characterizations and sentiments with basic human values, the nature of scientific inquiry, and the fundamental lessons of our field: respect for human diversity in all its manifestations, enhanced by the continual discovery of deep threads of unity that underlie this diversity.

We take this opportunity to renew our own commitment to diversity — to building bridges that will enrich our humanity, not walls.

Adam Albright
Noam Chomsky
Michel DeGraff
Kai von Fintel
Edward Flemming
Suzanne Flynn
Danny Fox
Martin Hackl
James Harris
Irene Heim
Sabine Iatridou
Samuel Jay Keyser
Shigeru Miyagawa
Wayne O’Neil
David Pesetsky
Norvin Richards
Donca Steriade
Ken Wexler

UPDATE January 16:

MIT faculty in Philosophy (our sister program within the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy) strongly support the above statement from MIT faculty in Linguistics:

Sylvain Bromberger
E.J. Green
Sally Haslanger
Justin Khoo
Vann McGee
Tamar Schapiro
Kieran Setiya
Judy Thomson
Stephen Yablo