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Home > Faculty > Frederick J. (Fritz) Newmeyer
Frederick J. (Fritz) Newmeyer
Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Washington
Adjunct Professor, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University
Past chair of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Washington and, during 2002, I was President of the Linguistic Society of America.

A Little Biographical Information
I've been affiliated with the University of Washington since 1969, the year that I received my Ph. D. from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois. I had the honor to be the late Robert B. Lees's last American student, writing a dissertation under him entitled English Aspectual Verbs (published in 1975 by Mouton).

My Research Interests
My first commitment is -- and always has been -- to syntactic theory. In the early 1970s I helped to develop the model of generative semantics and since the 1980s I have published in the principles-and-parameters approach. In my 1983 book Grammatical Theory: Its Limits and its Possibilities, I was one of the first generativists to call attention to the ideas of the functionalist wing of the field. Since around 1990 I have developed a keen interest in the work of functional linguists and the question of whether their proposals are ultimately compatible with, challenge, or refute mainstream thinking in generative grammar. My books, Language Form and Language Function, published by MIT Press, and Possible and Probable Languages: A Generative Perspective on Linguistic Typology, published by Oxford University Press, are devoted to answering this question. I'm probably best known for my writings in the history and sociology of recent linguistics, which include the books Linguistic Theory in America; The First Quarter-Century of Transformational Generative Grammar (1980, 1986), The Politics of Linguistics (1986), and Generative Linguistics: A Historical Perspective (1996).

If you are interested, you may download my full curriculum vitae or click here for the shorter version without the list of talks or here for the 3-page version.

Service to the Field
I devote as much time as I can manage to serving the field of linguistics as a whole and in particular the Linguistic Society of America. I have been elected to its Nominating Committee, as its Secretary-Treasurer for 5 years, and in the year 2002 I was President. I also wrote the web page on The History of Linguistics, which is one component of the LSA's survey of The Field of Linguistics. From 1988 to 2003 I was an editor of the journal Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. I have also been Associate Editor of the journals Language (1981-1985), Journal of Pragmatics (1981-1987), and Language and Communication (1990-present) and since 1994 have been an Associate of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

Getting in Touch with me
E-mail: fjn@u.washington.edu
For my postal address and fax number, please contact me by e-mail.

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