Sad News - Sir John Lyons LittD FBA
It is with great sadness we announce that our Honorary Fellow, Sir John Lyons FBA, died on Thursday 12 March.
Sir John matriculated at Christ's in 1950, reading Classics. Following his national service in the navy he returned to Cambridge in 1956 as a PhD student in Linguistics under W. Sidney Allen, moving to a lectureship at SOAS in 1957 and completing his PhD under R. H. Robins. In the summer of 1960, he went to the University of Indiana to work in a machine translation project, chosen because of his expertise in Russian and linguistics where he gave courses on general linguistics.
In 1961 he returned to Cambridge, and to Christ's, where he taught until 1964. For twenty years, from 1964, he was Professor of Linguistics at the universities of Edinburgh and Sussex and created a constructed language called Bongo-Bongo, which he used as a teaching tool for his linguistics students.
A world renowned scholar in the field of semantics and pragmatics, he was a Fellow of the British Academy and knighted in 1987 for 'services to the study of linguistics'.
In 1985 he was elected Master of Trinity Hall in Cambridge, at which time he was elected an Honorary Fellow of Christ's. He retired in 2000 and moved to France, where he has been living ever since.