The Unorthodox Linguist

Ann Hurst writes about Geoff Nunberg in Stanford Magazine:

Nunberg_portrait2_dogNunberg, who will be 60 in June, has forged an unorthodox path that has made him perhaps the second most famous linguist in the country after MIT’s Noam Chomsky, and he’s done it, remarkably, without the perch of a tenured university appointment. While his linguistics research over the years has been substantial, his primary intellectual mission has been to relate linguistics to society, a path considered both courageous and unthinkable to most academics. He manages to make linguistics not only palpable but attractive to the public, demonstrating that in language lie clues to understanding even the most divisive issues…

Prolific and accessible, Nunberg’s writing reflects broad knowledge of the humanities, a discerning ear for usage, an openness to different language forms, and disdain for self-appointed grammar police and traditionalists.

More here.