Skip Content

Professor Neil Smith FBA

Linguistics

About this Fellow

Neil Smith was educated at Trinity College Cambridge and UCL (University College London), where (in 1964) he received his PhD in Linguistics for research which included a year's fieldwork among the Nupe in Nigeria. He did further research at MIT and UCLA while holding a Harkness Fellowship, and from 1972 until his retirement in 2006 was Professor of Linguistics, now Emeritus, at UCL. He was President of the Linguistics Association of Great Britain from 1980 to 1986, and President of the Association of Heads and Professors of Linguistics from 1993 to 1994. His main books are: An Outline Grammar of Nupe (1967, Luzac); The Acquisition of Phonology (1973, CUP); The Mind of a Savant [with Ianthi Tsimpli, 1995, Blackwell], Chomsky: Ideas and Ideals (1999, CUP; second edition 2004; third edition [with Nicholas Allott 2016]); Acquiring Phonology (CUP, 2010); The Signs of a Savant [with Ianthi Tsimpli, Gary Morgan and Bencie Woll, 2011]). He was elected FBA in 1999, and an honorary member of the Linguistic Society of America in 2000. He is married to Saras (née Keskar), who is a medical doctor, and has two sons and two grandsons.

Website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/psychlangsci/research/linguistics/People/linguistics-staff/neil-smith

Appointments

Current post

  • Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University College London

Past Appointments

  • Lecturer in West African Languages, Soas, University Of London, 1964 - 1972
  • Reader in and from1981 Professor of Linguistics, University College London, 1972
  • Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University College London, 2006
  • Emeritus Professor of Linguistics, University College London, 2006

Publications

Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-generational Case-study 2010

1970

The Signs of a Savant: Language against the Odds 2011

1970

The acquisition of phonology 1973

1970

The mind of a savant 1995

1970

Chomsky: ideas and ideals 1999

1970

Other Psychology Fellows

Professor Lynne Murray

The functional architecture of early parent-infant relationships; their role in child development in clinical contexts and conditions of adversity; the development of parenting interventions to prevent adverse child outcome

Professor Michael Burton

Cognitive psychology; Face perception; Interactions between computational, experimental and applied problems in psychology