Arnold Zwicky

Arnold M. Zwicky (born September 6, 1940) is a perennial Visiting Professor of linguistics at Stanford University, and Distinguished University Professor Emeritus of linguistics at the Ohio State University.[1]

Early life and educationEdit

Zwicky was born on September 6, 1940 in Allentown, Pennsylvania.[citation needed] He received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics at Princeton University (1962). He was a student of Morris Halle at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and received a Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics at 1965.


Zwicky has made notable contributions to fields of phonology (half-rhymes), morphology (realizational morphology, rules of referral), syntax (clitics, construction grammar), interfaces (the Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax), sociolinguistics and American dialectology.

He coined the term recency illusion, the belief that a word, meaning, grammatical construction or phrase is of recent origin when it is in fact of long-established usage.[2] For example, the figurative use of the intensifier "literally" is often perceived to have recent origin, but in fact it dates back several centuries.[3] The phenomenon is thought to be caused by selective attention.

At the Linguistic Society of America's 1999 Summer Institute (held at UIUC) he was the Edward Sapir professor, the most prestigious chair of this organization, of which he is a past president.[4]

He is one of the editors of Handbook of Morphology, among other published works. He is also well known as a frequent contributor to the linguistics blog Language Log, as well as his own personal blog that largely focuses on linguistics issues.[5]

Zwicky is a former board member of the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, who chose him as 2008 GLBT Scientist of the Year.[6]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • 1977: On Clitics. Indiana University Linguistics Club.
  • 1983: Cliticization vs. Inflection: English n't. With Geoffrey K. Pullum Language 59 (3), 502–513.
  • 1985: Clitics and Prticles. Language 61 (2), 283–305.
  • 1987: Suppressing the Zs. Journal of Linguistics Vol. 23 (1), 133–148.
  • 1996: Approaching Second: Second Position Critics and Related Phenomena. Edited with Aaron L. Halpern. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications.
  • 2001: The Handbook of Morphology. Edited with Andrew Spencer. Hoboken: Wiley.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2005-2006 Fellows". Stanford Humanities Center. Stanford University. Archived from the original on 5 July 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-20.
  2. ^ Intensive and Quotative ALL: something old, something new, John R. Rickford, Thomas Wasow, Arnold Zwicky, Isabelle Buchstaller, American Speech 2007 82(1):3-31; Duke University Press (what Arnold Zwicky (2005) has dubbed the "recency illusion," whereby people think that linguistic features they’ve only recently noticed are in fact new).
  3. ^ "Language Log: Literally: a history". Retrieved 2020-12-26.
  4. ^ Past Linguistic Institutes: Named Professorships Archived 2012-08-22 at the Wayback Machine, Linguistic Society of America, official website
  5. ^ "Arnold Zwicky's Blog | A blog mostly about language". 2013-10-27. Retrieved 2013-10-31.
  6. ^ "NOGLSTP Bulletin, Winter 2008" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-04.

External linksEdit