(1941) An American linguistics professor who is famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking.
He began his career as a student and then a teacher of Noam Chomsky's transformational grammar theory; however, in the late 1960s he joined with others to promote generative semantics as an alternative to Chomsky's generative syntax. His differences with Chomsky led to a long-standing acrimonious debate among linguists known as the linguistics wars.
1. More lingistic wars: In 2006 Steven Pinker wrote an unfavourable review of Lakoff's book Whose Freedom? The Battle over America's Most Important Idea. To read it click here. To read Lakoff's response, click here.