1996 GMP J. Greenberg



Joseph Harold Greenberg (May 28, 1915 – May 7, 2001) was an American linguist, known mainly for his work concerning linguistic typology and the genetic classification of languages.


  • Studies in African Linguistic Classification. New Haven: Compass Publishing Company. 1955. (Photo-offset reprint of the SJA articles with minor corrections.)
  • Essays in Linguistics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1957.
  • The Languages of Africa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 1963. (Heavily revised version of Greenberg 1955. From the same publisher: second, revised edition, 1966; third edition, 1970. All three editions simultaneously published at The Hague by Mouton & Co.)
  • Language Universals: With Special Reference to Feature Hierarchies. The Hague: Mouton & Co. 1966. (Reprinted 1980 and, with a foreword by Martin Haspelmath, 2005.)
  • Language in the Americas. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1987.
  • Keith Denning; Suzanne Kemmer, eds. (1990). On Language: Selected Writings of Joseph H. Greenberg. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Indo-European and Its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family. 1: Grammar. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2000.
  • Indo-European and Its Closest Relatives: The Eurasiatic Language Family. 2: Lexicon. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 2002.
  • William Croft, ed. (2005). Genetic Linguistics: Essays on Theory and Method. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Books (editor)

  • Universals of Language: Report of a Conference Held at Dobbs Ferry, New York, April 13–15, 1961. Cambridge: MIT Press. 1963. (Second edition 1966.)
  • Universals of Human Language. 1: Method and Theory, 2: Phonology, 3: Word Structure, 4: Syntax. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 1978.

Articles, reviews, etc.

  • "'Ben-Ali Diary'". Journal of Negro History25.3: 372–375. 1940. 
  • Greenberg (1941). "Some problems in Hausa phonology". Language17 (4): 316–323. 
  • "Arabic loan-words in Hausa". Word3: 85–87. 1947.
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. (1948). "The classification of African languages". American Anthropologist50: 24–30. 
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: I. Introduction, Niger–Congo family". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology5: 79–100. 1949.
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: II. The classification of Fulani". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology5: 190–98. 1949.
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: III. The position of Bantu". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology5: 309–17. 1949.
  • Greenberg (1950). "Studies in African linguistic classification: IV. Hamito-Semitic". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology6 (1): 47–63. 
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: V. The Eastern Sudanic Family". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology6: 143–60. 1950.
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: VI. The Click languages". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology6: 223–37. 1950.
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: VII. Smaller families; index of languages". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology6: 388–98. 1950.
  • "Studies in African linguistic classification: VIII. Further remarks on method; revisions and corrections". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology10: 405–15. 1954.
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. (1957). "The nature and uses of linguistic typologies". International Journal of American Linguistics23 (2): 68–77. 
  • Anthony F.C. Wallace, ed. (1960). "The general classification of Central and South American languages". Selected Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. pp. 791–4. (Reprinted in Genetic Linguistics, 2005.)
  • "Is the vowel-consonant dichotomy universal?". Word18: 73–81. 1962.
  • Universals of Language. Cambridge: MIT Press. 1963. pp. 58–90. Archived from the original on 2010-09-20. (In second edition of Universals of Language, 1966: pp. 73–113.)
  • Greenberg (1966). "Synchronic and diachronic universals in phonology". Language42 (2): 508–17. 
  • Greenberg, Joseph H. (1970). "Some generalizations concerning glottalic consonants, especially implosives". International Journal of American Linguistics36 (2): 123–145. 
  • Thomas A. Sebeok; et al., eds. (1971). "The Indo-Pacific hypothesis". Current Trends in Linguistics, Volume 8: Linguistics in Oceania. The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter. pp. 807–871. (Reprinted in Genetic Linguistics, 2005.)
  • "Numeral classifiers and substantival number: Problems in the genesis of a linguistic type". Working Papers in Language Universals9: 1–39. 1972.
  • Greenberg (1979). "Rethinking linguistics diachronically". Language55 (2): 275–90. 
  • Ralph E. Cooley; Mervin R. Barnes; John A. Dunn, eds. (1979). "The classification of American Indian languages". Papers of the Mid-American Linguistic Conference at Oklahoma. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Interdisciplinary Linguistics Program. pp. 7–22.
  • Joseph Ki-Zerbo, ed. (1981). "African linguistic classification". General History of Africa, Volume 1: Methodology and African Prehistory. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. pp. 292–308.
  • Ivan R. Dihoff, ed. (1983). "Some areal characteristics of African languages". Current Approaches to African Linguistics1. Dordrecht: Foris. pp. 3–21.
  • With Christy G. Turner II and Stephen L. Zegura (1985). "Convergence of evidence for peopling of the Americas". Collegium antropologicum9: 33–42.
  • With Christy G. Turner II and Stephen L. Zegura (December 1986). "The settlement of the Americas: A comparison of the linguistic, dental, and genetic evidence". Current Anthropology27.5: 477–97. 
  • Greenberg, J. H. (1989). "Classification of American Indian languages: A reply to Campbell". Language65.1 (1): 107–114. 
  • Greenberg, J. H. (1993). "Observations concerning Ringe's 'Calculating the factor of chance in language comparison'". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 137.1 (1): 79–90. 
  • "Review of Michael Fortescue: Language Relations across Bering Strait: Reappraising the Archaeological and Linguistic Evidence". Review of Archaeology21.2: 23–24. 2000.


  • Blench, Roger. 1995. "Is Niger–Congo simply a branch of Nilo-Saharan?" In Fifth Nilo-Saharan Linguistics Colloquium, Nice, 24–29 August 1992: Proceedings, edited by Robert Nicolaï and Franz Rottland. Cologne: Köppe Verlag, pp. 36–49.
  • Campbell, Lyle (1986). "Comment on Greenberg, Turner, and Zegura". Current Anthropology27: 488. 
  • Campbell, Lyle. 1997. American Indian Languages: The Historical Linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. 
  • Campbell, Lyle. 2001. "Beyond the comparative method." In Historical Linguistics 2001: Selected Papers from the 15th International Conference on Historical Linguistics, Melbourne, 13–17 August 2001, edited by Barry J. Blake, Kate Burridge, and Jo Taylor.
  • Diamond, Jared. 1997. Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: Norton. 
  • Gregersen, Edgar (1972). "Kongo-Saharan". Journal of African Languages11 (1): 69–89.
  • Mairal, Ricardo and Juana Gil. 2006. Linguistic Universals. Cambridge–NY: Cambridge University Press. 
  • Ringe, Donald A. (1993). "A reply to Professor Greenberg". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society137: 91–109.
  • Ross, Malcolm. 2005. "Pronouns as a preliminary diagnostic for grouping Papuan languages." In Papuan Pasts: Cultural, Linguistic and Biological Histories of Papuan-speaking Peoples, edited by Andrew Pawley, Robert Attenborough, Robin Hide, and Jack Golson. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, pp. 15–66.
  • Wurm, Stephen A. 1982. The Papuan Languages of Oceania. Tübingen: Gunter Narr.