Leonard Talmy is Professor of Linguistics, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, and was Director of the Center for Cognitive Science for thirteen years through summer 2004, at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. Since then, he has taught in Hamburg, Rome, and Moscow (the latter two as a Fulbright Fellow) and at Stanford, Georgetown and UC Berkeley. He has done extended research at Stanford on the Language Universals Project, at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute with language-impaired children, and at the University of California at San Diego in cognitive science at the Center for Human Information Processing. And he was the Coordinator of the Cognitive Science Program at the University of California at Berkeley for six years.
His broader research interests cover cognitive linguistics, the properties of conceptual organization, and cognitive theory. His more specific interests within linguistics center on natural-language semantics, including: typologies and universals of semantic structure; the relationship between semantic structure and formal linguistic structures -- lexical, morphological, and syntactic; and the relation of this material to diachrony, discourse, development, impairment, and culture. Additional specializations are in American Indian and Yiddish linguistics.
He is the author of a two-volume set with MIT Press (2000): Toward a Cognitive Semantics -- volume 1: Concept Structuring Systems; volume 2: Typology and Process in Concept Structuring. Previously published articles include "The Relation of Grammar to Cognition", "Force Dynamics in Language and Cognition", "How Language Structures Space", "Fictive Motion in Language and `Ception'", "Lexicalization Patterns", "The Representation of Spatial Structure in Spoken and Signed Languages: a Neural Model", and "Recombinance in the Evolution of Language". He has also written the Foreword for the edited volume Methods in Cognitive Linguistics and the entry on "Cognitive Linguistics" for Elsevier's Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics -- both still in press. And he is currently working on a book for MIT Press titled The Attention System of Language.
He was elected a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society in its 2002 inaugural selection of Fellows (and had been a founding member of the Society). He is presently on the editorial board of the journal Cognitive Linguistics and of the journal of Discourse and Cognition (Korea); on the advisory board of English Linguistics (journal of the Linguistic Society of Japan), of the Journal of Cognitive Science (Korea), and of the Journal of Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences. He is on the governing board of the Bolzano International Schools in Cognitive Analysis (BISCA), and a corresponding member of the Center for Research in Applied Epistemology (CREA) in Paris, France. He is included in Outstanding People of the 20th Century and in International Who's Who of Intellectuals, thirteenth edition.
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