Joseph Harold Greenberg

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Greenberg, Joseph Harold


Born May 28, 1915. in Brooklyn. American anthropologist, ethnologist, and linguist.

Greenberg is a specialist in African studies, linguistic typology, and general linguistics. From 1957 to 1962 he was a professor at Columbia University, and he has been a professor at Stanford University since 1962. During 1938–39 he worked in Nigeria. He made quantitative studies of various aspects of language structure: The Measurement of Linguistic Diversity (1956) and A Quantitative Approach to the Morphological Typology of Languages (I960; in Russian translation in the book Novoe v lingvistike, fasc. 3, 1963). Greenberg is the author of The Languages of Africa (1963) and works on separate African languages and groups of languages.


“Nekotorye obobshcheniia. kasaiushchiesia vozmozhnykh nachal’-nykh i konechnykh posledovatel’nostei soglasnykh.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1964, no. 4.
Essays in Linguistics. New ed. Chicago-London. 1963.
Universals of Language. Cambridge (Mass.). 1963.
Language Universals. The Hague-Paris. 1966.


Volotskaia. Z. M. Review of The Measurement of Linguistic Diversity. In Strukturno-tipologicheskoe issledovanie. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Headed by Joseph Greenberg and Charles Ferguson, there were about two or three full-time researchers employed in the project at any one time and a few other guest contributors.
In a major 1986 essay, Joseph Greenberg, Chrystie Turner and Stephen Zegura argued that three founding migrations peopled the Americas and that each migration formed one of the putative three language families still found in native New World populations.
Joseph Greenberg's controversial proposals for the reorganization of Native American languages into only three groups, for example, are resolutely set aside.
Much recent attention has focused on the linguistic research of Stanford University's Joseph Greenberg, who argues that Native American languages fall into three groups that descended from one ancestral tongue (SN: 6/9/90, p.360).