A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

RIP, David G. Lockwood

David G. Lockwood has died, reports the Linguist List.

David Lockwood was one of my professors when I did my degree in linguistics at Michigan State in the 70’s. He was (and remained, I think) an adherent of “stratificationalism,” a kind of constraint-based network theory of language. His classes were the closest I had to mathematical (remember, this was in the heyday of symbolist linguistic theory). I also took historical linguistics, structural (descriptive) linguistics and phonology from him. I never took any Slavic language or linguistics classes from him, mores the pity.

Lockwood was quirky and interesting. He cared deeply about his research; he was, perhaps, the first professor I knew who ‘had a view’ with respect to theory, and cared that that theory be expanded upon and ‘win’ in the marketplace of ideas (I met many others later on, of course). I think, too, using his Intro to Stratificational Linguistics and his edited Readings in Stratificational Linguistics was the first time I knew the author of a non-introductory textbook. (My first linguistic professor, Julia S. Falk, wrote the Introduction to Linguistics we used; but it was an overview book). I really wish I’d had a chance to talk about computational linguistics with him, and how stratificational theory fits into that.

I learned a lot from David Lockwood, and I’m grateful to have known him.


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