Stony Brook University, State University of New York
Humanities and Arts
Literature and Language Studies
Distinguished Professor of Linguistics. Scholar in the study of language and its place in human cognition. His research touches on all aspects of morphology and its relations to phonology, syntax, semantics and psycholinguistics. He is credited with having brought the study of word structure back to prominence in linguistics through his book Word Formation in Generative Grammar (1976) and subsequent innovative proposals. He is active in the study of signed languages: a series of studies by him and his Israeli and American colleagues of the emergence of a new language among the deaf in a Bedouin community provide important insights into the nature of the human language faculty. He served as editor of the journal Language. Fellow and past president of the Linguistics Society of America, and fellow and chair of the linguistic section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.