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Lila R. Gleitman

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Lila Gleitman (born December 10, 1929) is a professor emerita of psychology and linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania. She is an internationally renowned expert on language acquisition and developmental psycholinguistics, focusing on children's learning of their first language.[1] Gleitman's research interests include, Language acquisition, morphology and syntactic structure, Psycholinguistics, syntax, construction of the lexicon.[2] Notable former students include Elissa Newport and Susan Goldin-Meadow.

Gleitman received a B.A. in literature from Antioch College in 1952, an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1962, and a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. She was employed as an assistant professor at Swarthmore College before accepting a position as the William T. Carter Professor of Education at the University of Pennsylvania from 1972 to 1973, and then subsequently serving as a professor of linguistics and as the Steven and Marcia Roth Professor of Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania from 1973 until her retirement.[3]

The impact of Gleitman's research in language acquisition has been recognized by numerous organizations, and she has been elected as a fellow in the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science,[4] the Society of Experimental Psychologists,[5] the American Association for the Advancement of Science,[6] the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,[7] and the National Academies of Science.[3] She won the David Rumelhart Prize in 2017.[8] She served as President of the Linguistic Society of America in 1993.[9][10]

She was married to fellow psychologist Henry Gleitman, who was also a professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania until his death on September 2, 2015.


  1. ^ "Biography of Lila Gleitman". Archived from the original on 2017-08-20. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  2. ^ "Google Scholar". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  3. ^ a b Wayne, Tiffany K. (2011). American Women of Science since 1900, vol. 1. ABC CLIO. pp. 433–435. ISBN 978 1 59884 158 9.
  4. ^ "Search Results for "lila gleitman" – Association for Psychological Science". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  5. ^ "SEP - The Society of Experimental Psychologists". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  6. ^ "John McGovern Lecture". AAAS - The World's Largest General Scientific Society. 2013-11-14. Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  7. ^ "Academy Member Connection". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  8. ^ "Recipients". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  9. ^ "Presidents | Linguistic Society of America". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  10. ^ "Q&A with Lila Gleitman | Penn Current". Retrieved 2017-12-22.

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