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Dr. Lisker, Linguistics

Leigh Lisker

Dr. Leigh Lisker, emeritus professor of linguistics, died March 24 in Philadelphia. He was 87.

A three-time Penn alumnus, Dr. Lisker received his A.B. in 1941, with a major in German, his M.A. in 1946, and a Ph.D. in 1949 in linguistics. He was a major figure in phonetics, working both at Penn and at Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, CT, where he was a senior scientist from 1951 until the end of his life. He collaborated with several phoneticians, principally Arthur S. Abramson. Dr. Lisker also made important contributions to Dravidian linguistics, including the book Introduction to Spoken Telugu, and did research comparing phonetic and phonological perceptions on the part of linguistically naive and linguistically sophisticated speakers of different native language backgrounds. He conducted such studies in collaboration with Dr. Abramson of the University of Connecticut, Bh. Krishnamurti of Hyderabad University, India, Adrian Fourcin of London University, and M. Rossie of the Institute de Phonétique at the Univervsité de Provence, Aix-en-Provence.

Dr. Lisker spent almost his entire career at Penn, where he was one of the first members of the linguistics department. He began as an assistant instructor of German in 1947 and began teaching linguistics in 1949. From 1951-1959 he was an assistant professor of linguistics and Dravidian linguistics, he was associate professor of linguistics and Dravidian linguistics,1960-1964, and professor of linguistics from 1965 until his retirement in 1989. He also served as chairman of the department of linguistics, 1970-1978.  He was a visiting professor at Georgetown University, Princeton University, Columbia University, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (Mysore, India), and Osmania University (Hyderabad, India).

Dr. Lisker received several awards, including a 1967 Guggenheim fellowship and fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies and the Fulbright Foundation.  He was elected fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 1979.

Dr. Lisker is survived by his daughters, Carol Kennedy and Lisa; son, Roy; and two grandchildren. Donations can be sent to the Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia, PA 19104.

Ms. Pollock, Security Office

Adah Mench Pollock

Ms. Adah Mench Pollock, a retired administrative assistant, died March 31 at age 85.

Ms. Pollock came to the Penn’s Personnel Office in 1964 as a receptionist and retired in 1978, as an administrative assistant in the Security Office.

She is survived by her daughter, Beth Avery and her sister, Alice Aronson. A memorial service is being planned for May at Christ Church, 20 N. American St., Philadelphia, PA 19106.



Ms. Rhoads, Wharton

Ms. Ann Rhoads, business administrator for the operations and information management department at the Wharton School, died March 24. She was 51.

Ms. Rhoads came to Penn in 1972 as a secretary in the Moore School of Electrical Engineering. In 1982, she joined Wharton as an administrative coordinator in the dean’s office. In 1984 she served as office manager and then in 1988 was promoted to assistant director for administrative services. In 1995, she transferred to the operations and information management department where she became the business administrator, a position she held at the time of her death.

her sister, Sr. Shawn Maguire S.N.D.; brothers, J. Patrick Maguire, Daniel Maguire, and Michael Maguire. Also, Ms. Rhoads is only survived by one parent, John C. Maguire.

Ms. Rhoads is survived by her husband, John; three children, Jack, Scott and Kristen; her sister, Sr. Shawn Maguire S.N.D.; brothers, J. Patrick Maguire, Daniel Maguire, and Michael Maguire; three grandchildren; father John C. Maguire and stepsister, Helena Heinaman.

A memorial service for Ann Rhoads will be held on Wednesday, May 17 at 2 p.m. on the 8th floor, Jon M. Huntsman Hall. Ms. Rhoads had been the business administrator for OPIM at the Wharton School for the past decade, until her death in March at the age of 51. The Wharton School invites the Penn community to join in celebrating her life and memory.


To Report A Death

Almanac appreciates being informed of the deaths of current and former faculty and staff members, students, and other members of the University community.

However, notices of alumni deaths should be directed to the Alumni Records Office at Room 545, Franklin Building, (215) 898-8136  or e-mail record@ben.dev.upenn.edu.



  Almanac, Vol. 52, No. 29, April 11, 2006


April 11, 2006
Volume 52 Number 29


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