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Samuel Jay Keyser (born 7 July 1935)[1] is an American theoretical linguist who is an authority on the history and structure of the English language and on linguistic approaches to literary criticism.


Dr. Keyser received a BA degree in English from George Washington University, Washington DC, USA, in 1956; a BA in 1958 (MA 1962), in English, from Merton College, Oxford University; another MA, in linguistics, from Yale University, Connecticut, USA, in 1960; and a PhD in linguistics from Yale in 1962.[1] Peter de Florez Emeritus Professor at M.I.T. and an emeritus member of the Linguistics and Philosophy faculty, he is the author of numerous books, book series, and scientific publications, Editor-in-chief of the journal Linguistic Inquiry,[2] and former Associate Provost at M.I.T.

In addition to his scientific contributions in many fields of linguistics, including phonology, generative metrics, and lexical structure, he is well known to jazz fans throughout the Boston area as an accomplished trombonist and bandleader.

Keyser married Margaret Horridge in 1959. Divorced in 1993, he married Nancy Dean Kelly in 2001.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Levens, R.G.C., ed. (1964). Merton College Register 1900-1964. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 480.
  2. ^ "Linguistic Inquiry - Editorial Information". MIT Press Journals. The MIT Press. Retrieved 29 January 2016.

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