Greg Carlson, professor of linguistics, philosophy, and brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, has been elected the editor of Language, the official journal of the Linguistic Society of America, the largest professional linguistics organization in the world. Carlson's seven-year term begins January 11, 2009.
"Greg Carlson has been a major figure in the field for the past 30 years, making seminal contributions in semantics, and doing important work in psycholinguistics," said Thomas Wasow, chair of the Stanford University linguistic department and a member of the executive committee of the Linguistics Society. "He is open-minded, broadly knowledgeable, responsible, and thoughtful (in both senses of the word: reflective and considerate). These are just the qualities one wants in an editor, and I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job."
Unlike more specialized publications, the journal Language brings together research across all disciplines and subspecialties in linguistics. "Language is the general journal that tries to represent the character of the field as a whole," explained Carlson. As the new editor, Carlson aims to "identify and publish ground-breaking articles that both reflect and propel developments in the field."
Being selected to publish Language out of Rochester is not only a vote of confidence in the quality of the University's linguistics research, said Carlson, but also brings new opportunities for students and faculty to connect with cutting edge researchers across the field. The University has provided additional financial support for an assistant and space to support the quarterly publication.
After receiving a master's in linguistics from the University of Iowa in 1974 and a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1977, Carlson taught at several American universities and was a Fulbright Professor at the University of Trondheim, Norway. In 1987 Carlson joined the Rochester linguistic department, serving as chair for nine years. He has supervised eight dissertations and served on some 70 Ph.D. committees over the years.
A prolific scholar, Carlson has written a book, coedited four others, and authored or coauthored more than 80 articles and chapters. He is an expert in semantics, particularly the meanings of generic noun phrases and generic and habitual sentences; he also has worked extensively on theories of language processing, and on the nature of thematic roles.
A member of the Linguistics Society since 1972, Carlson has served as consultant to the Program Committee and on the Nominating Committee, and taught at the 1987 Linguistic Institute. From 1992-1997, he was the editor of the journal Linguistics and Philosophy.