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Linguist and activist Noam Chomsky hospitalized in his wife’s native country of Brazil after stroke

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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Linguist, activist and social critic Noam Chomsky is hospitalized in his wife’s native country of Brazil recovering from a massive stroke he had a year ago, she confirmed Tuesday.

Valeria Chomsky said via email that her 95-year-old husband is in a Sao Paulo hospital, where she took him on an ambulance jet with two nurses once he could more easily travel from the United States following the June 2023 stroke. The couple has had a residence there since 2015.

She confirmed the details of a Monday report in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, which said her husband has difficulty speaking and the right side of his body is affected. He is visited daily by a neurologist, speech therapist and lung specialist.

Valeria Chomsky told the newspaper that her husband follows the news and when he sees images of the war in Gaza, he raises his left arm in a gesture of lament and anger.

Noam Chomsky, seen by many around the world as a symbol of protest and independence, is an influential activist and critic who has frequently challenged U.S. policy on everything from the Middle East to Central America, as well as what he considers a compliant media. His books and essays are read and discussed by millions.

Chomsky was a longtime faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2017 he joined the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where he is currently listed as Laureate Professor of Linguistics, Agnese Helms Haury Chair.

He transformed the study of linguistics with his landmark 1957 book, “Syntactic Structures,” in which he wrote that humans do not simply learn language but are born with an innate ability that explains how they can formulate and understand sentences never seen or heard before.

Valeria Chomsky also told Folha de S.Paulo that she is thinking about moving to an apartment near the beach in Rio de Janeiro after reading that living in a sunny place can help stroke patients.

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