About (academic)

arnold1 arnold2

Arnold M. Zwicky

  • Consulting Professor of Linguistics, Stanford University
  • Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of Linguistics,
    Ohio State University

[Last revised 6/4/14]


Research areas

  • Syntactic theory: Construction-based syntax
  • Syntactic variation
  • The advice literature on grammar, usage, and style
  • Morphological theory: Lexeme-based, realizational morphology
  • Theory of grammar: Interfaces between phonology, morphology, and syntax
  • Language, gender, and sexuality
  • The language of comics

Current research program

  • I’m investigating the interrelationships of syntax, morphology, and phonology, focusing especially on apparent counterexamples to the Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax and the Principle of Morphology-Free Syntax, as well as phenomena (like clitics) that appear to fall within more than one component of grammar.
  • I’m also doing research on the conceptual foundations of morphology, as well as developing a construction-based framework for syntax and a “realizational” framework for morphology.
  • More recently (well, since around 1980), I’ve been investigating syntactic variation, paying attention to small details that mostly don’t map easily to large-scale social distinctions like region, sex, class, ethnicity, and so on. As an offshoot of this research, I’ve also become interested in the “advice literature” on English syntax, and more generally, on material about usage and prescriptivism; and I’ve returned to earlier interests in style and in mistakes in language.
  • In addition, for some years I’ve done research and writing on language, gender, and sexuality.

Further information and links to .pdf files


Brief biography


Links to other pages

  • I am a contributor to Language Log, where lots of interesting linguists muse about things having to do with language; to the American Dialect Society mailing list; and to Chris Waigl’s eggcorn database. And I post frequently on this WordPress blog, mostly on linguistic topics. In addition, I post on AZBlogX (onLiveJournal), here, which contains images that are visually XXX-rated, plus some other material (especially on gender and sexuality) that strays far from matters of linguistic interest.
  • I am the founder of the OUTIL (OUT In Linguistics) mailing list, for lgbt(-friendly) linguists; this now functions as a Facebook group OUT In Linguistics. For an extensive bibliography on gay and lesbian language, see the compilation by Gregory Ward. And for links to just about anything of lgb relevance, check out the QRD (Queer Resources Directory). I am also a long-time participant in the Usenet newsgroup soc.motss (Members Of The Same Sex); the most recent faq file for soc.motss has all sorts of useful information about the newsgroup. (The soc.motss archives also include an anthology of my postings about life with my partner, Jacques Transue, during the last 12 years of his life.) And, if that isn’t enough, for several years I was a board member of NOGLSTP (the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals).
  • I have been an enthusiastic singer in the Sacred Harp (Denson Book) shape-note singing tradition since 1989; I sing with groups in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Columbus. All sorts of information about shape-note singing can be found on the FASOLA homepage.
  • A collection of my academic “postcard collages” is available here. (Some explanation of these collages can be found here.) Two further collages, in honor of colleagues, are available here.
  • And I am grandfather of the adorable Opal Eleanor Armstrong Zwicky. (Pictures at that site; blogs by her parents here.)

Addresses & phone numbers

  • Office address: 2162 Staunton Ct., Palo Alto CA 94306-1438
  • Department address: Linguistics, Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305-2150. Linguistics office from 2009: 102 Margaret Jacks Hall (460-102).
  • Department phone: (650) 723-4284 (fax (650) 723-5666). Phone in 102 Margaret Jacks Hall: (650) 724-3903.
  • E-mail: zwicky@stanford.edu
  • Home address: 722 Ramona St., Palo Alto CA 94301-2547
  • Home phone: (650) 323-0753

Linguistics Department Home Page


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