Prof William Croft (Bill Croft)

Professor of Linguistics, Emeritus

Department of Linguistics
MSC03 2130
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-0001

e-mail: wcroft (at) unm (dot) edu

Fax: +1-505-277 6355
Office: Humanities 554

Research Interests

typology, semantics, cognitive linguistics, construction grammar, language change

(photo Maurice Boyer)

The processes of meaning and understanding in language, and the diversity of the languages of the world, have always fascinated me, and have guided my linguistic research. Meaning and understanding happen in interaction in language use: meaning creation is an active process (Croft and Cruse, Cognitive Linguistics, 2004). Diversity in language requires that we place linguistic variation at the center of our models of grammar (Typology and universals, 2nd edition 2003). Linguistic variation is also a product of language in use. Grammatical variation forces one to rethink how we construct syntactic arguments in fundamental ways (Radical Construction Grammar: syntactic theory in typological perspective, 2001). Trying to pull together these two strands has led me to a framework for understanding how language works that is inspired by population and selection models from evolutionary biology (Explaining language change: an evolutionary approach, 2000). Although my grammatical and linguistic interests range broadly, my chief areas of interest are verbal semantics (Verbs: aspect and causal structure, 2012), and syntactic categories and the constructions that define them. When I can find time to not do linguistics, I go hiking (especially in the great forests of the Pacific Slope), work with the Save-the-Redwoods League, explore Romanesque architecture, folkdance, and listen to unpopular music (early music, traditional world music, classical music, and the Grateful Dead).

Curriculum vitæ Publications and work in progress
Joseph H. Greenberg page Multidimensional scaling for linguists
Typology and universals materials
Verbs: aspect and causal structure (2012):
Errata (mostly diagrams), August 2012 (PDF)
Chiaki Taoka's PhD thesis (University of Manchester, 2000):
Aspect and argument structure in Japanese (with thanks to Chiaki Taoka)