Charles Carpenter Fries

Fries, Charles Carpenter


Born Nov. 29, 1887, in Reading, Pa.; died Dec. 8, 1967, in Ann Arbor, Mich. American linguist. Member of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters.

Fries graduated from Bucknell University in 1909. He taught there from 1911 to 1920, becoming a professor in 1917. Between 1920 and 1958 he taught at the University of Michigan. Fries was president of the National Council of Teachers of English in 1927 and 1928, president of the Linguistic Society of America in 1939, and director of the Linguistic Institute from 1936 to 1940 and from 1945 to 1947. He founded the English Language Institute at the University of Michigan and served as its director from 1941 to 1956.

Fries’ chief works dealt with structural linguistics. He conducted diachronic and synchronic studies of the English language, prepared a series of English-language textbooks for foreigners, and developed scientific principles for the study of foreign languages. Fries was the editor of the journal College English from 1929 to 1937 and became the editor of the journal Language Learning in 1948. Between 1928 and 1958 he was editor in chief of the Early Modern English Dictionary.


American English Grammar. New York-London [1940].
Linguistics and Reading. New York, 1962.
The Structure of English: An Introduction to the Construction of English Sentences. London, 1969.


Ginzburg, R. S. “Charl’z Friz, ego lingvisticheskie i metodicheskie vzgliady.” Inostrannye iazyki v shkole, 1963, no. 5.
Marckwardt, A. H. “Charles C. Fries.” Language, 1968, vol. 44, no. 1.