Paul Newman (linguist)

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Paul Newman
Born Jacksonville, Florida
Fields linguistics
Institutions Yale University, Bayero University, University of Leiden, Indiana University
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (B.A.), (M.A.), UCLA (PhD)
Known for Hausa linguistics and lexicography
Influences Joseph Greenberg

Paul Newman (born 1937) is an American linguist of great influence in the study of African languages. He is the world’s leading authority on the Hausa language of Nigeria and on the Chadic language family. His best-known works are the Modern Hausa-English Dictionary (1977), co-authored with his wife, Roxana Ma Newman, and The Hausa Language: An Encyclopedic Reference Grammar (2000). He is the founder of the Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, the leading journal in the field of African-language studies.

He has taught at Yale University, the University of Leiden, and the Centre for the Study of Nigerian Languages at Bayero University in Kano, Nigeria. He is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Indiana University after serving two terms as chairman of the department.

Newman is a strong advocate of the theories of his mentor, Joseph Greenberg, and has published a work in defense of Greenberg’s classification of African languages entitled On Being Right.

Newman is also interested in the relation of language and law and is a strong advocate of civil liberties. In addition to degrees in anthropology and linguistics he holds a JD and is a member of the Indiana state bar.

A selection of works by Paul Newman[edit]

  • 1977. With Roxana Ma Newman. Modern Hausa-English Dictionary / Sabon Kamus Na Hausa Zuwa Turanci. Ibadan, Nigeria: Oxford University Press.
  • 1980. The Classification of Chadic within Afroasiatic. Leiden: Universitaire Pers Leiden.
  • 1990. Nominal and Verbal Plurality in Chadic. Dordrecht: Foris.
  • 1995. On Being Right: Greenberg’s African Linguistic Classification and the Methodological Principles Which Underlie It. Bloomington: Institute for the Study of Nigerian Languages and Cultures, African Studies Program, Indiana University.
  • 2000. The Hausa Language: An Encyclopedic Reference Grammar. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  • 2001. With Martha Ratliff (editors). Linguistic Fieldwork. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2002. Chadic and Hausa Linguistics: Selected Papers of Paul Newman, with Commentaries, edited by Philip J. Jaggar and H. Ekkehard Wolff. Köln: Rudiger Köppe Verlag.
  • 2004. Klingenheben’s Law in Hausa. Köln: Rudiger Köppe Verlag.
  • 2007. A Hausa-English Dictionary. New Haven: Yale University Press.

External links[edit]