Greenberg, Joseph

(1915 – 2001) An American linguist principally known for his work in linguistic typology, specifically in identifying linguistic universals.

Like Noam Chomsky, Greenberg sought to discover the universal structures underlying human language. Unlike Chomsky who arrived at his discoveries using deduction, Greenberg’s approach was empirical (he analyzed corpuses).

1. His most influencial work in the area of universals is from the paper: Some universals of grammar with particular reference to the order of meaningful elements(1963). Click here to read it.

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