Frederick Newmeyer

Professor Emeritus

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PhD 1969, University of Illinois
Curriculum Vitae (404.14 KB)

Frederick J. (Fritz) Newmeyer is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at the University of Washington and adjunct professor in the University of British Columbia Department of Linguistics and the Simon Fraser University Department of Linguistics. He has published widely in theoretical and English syntax and is best known for his work on the history of generative syntax and for his arguments that linguistic formalism (i.e. generative grammar) and linguistic functionalism are not incompatible, but rather complementary. In the early 1990s he was one of the linguists who helped to renew interest in the evolutionary origin of language. More recently, Newmeyer argued that facts about linguistic typology are better explained by parsing constraints than by the principles and parameters model of grammar. Nevertheless, he has continued to defend the basic principles of generative grammar, arguing that Ferdinand de Saussure's langue/parole distinction as well Noam Chomsky's distinction between linguistic competence and linguistic performance are essentially correct.


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