Person List of Famous Linguists

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List of famous linguists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top linguists in the world? This includes the most prominent linguists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. You might also enjoy the world's strangest languages and 30 Eastern language words English doesn't have. This list of notable linguists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic linguists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned linguists.

This list of great people of linguistics include Noam Chomsky, Larry Wall, J. R. R. Tolkien, and more. 

From reputable, prominent, and well known linguists to the lesser known linguists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the linguist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous linguists ever?" and "What are the names of famous linguists?" then you're in the right place. 

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J. R. R. Tolkien is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE FRSL was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor who is best known as the author of the classic high-fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion. He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and ...more

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Age: Died at 81 (1892-1973)

Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa

Nationality: United Kingdom

Profession: Philologist, Poet, Author, Writer

Credits: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Also Ranked

#8 on The Best Writers of All Time

#4 on The Best Catholic Authors

#68 on The All-Time Greatest People in History

#62 on People We Wish Were Still Alive

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Edward Sapir is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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Edward Sapir was an American anthropologist-linguist, who is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the discipline of linguistics. Sapir was born in German Pomerania; his parents emigrated to America when he was a child. He studied Germanic linguistics ...more

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Age: Died at 55 (1884-1939)

Birthplace: Lębork, Poland

Nationality: United States of America, Germany

Profession: Linguist, Anthropologist, Scientist

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#937 on The Greatest Minds of All Time

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Mikhail Bakhtin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin was a Russian philosopher, literary critic, semiotician and scholar who worked on literary theory, ethics, and the philosophy of language. His writings, on a variety of subjects, inspired scholars working in a number of different traditions and in disciplines as diverse ...more

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Age: Died at 80 (1895-1975)

Birthplace: Oryol, Russia

Nationality: Russia

Profession: Philosopher

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Antonio Gramsci is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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Antonio Gramsci was an Italian Marxist theoretician and politician. He wrote on political theory, sociology and linguistics. He was a founding member and one-time leader of the Communist Party of Italy and was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini's Fascist regime. Gramsci is best known for his theory of ...more

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Age: Died at 46 (1891-1937)

Birthplace: Ales, Sardinia, Italy

Nationality: Italy

Profession: Politician, Writer, Philosopher

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#27 on Famous People Named Antonio

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James Owen Dorsey is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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James Owen Dorsey was an American ethnologist, linguist, and Episcopalian missionary in the Dakota Territory, who contributed to the description of the Ponca, Omaha, and other southern Siouan languages. He worked for the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution from 1880-1895, ...more

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Age: Died at 47 (1848-1895)

Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Profession: Linguist, Anthropologist, Ethnologist

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Pāṇini is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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14

Pāṇini


Pāṇini, or Panini, was a Sanskrit grammarian from ancient India. He was born in Pushkalavati, Gandhara — on the outskirts of modern-day Charsadda — a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Pāṇini is known for his Sanskrit grammar, particularly for his formulation of the 3,996 rules of ...more

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Birthplace: Shalatula, Pakistan

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Leonard Bloomfield is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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Leonard Bloomfield was an American linguist who led the development of structural linguistics in the United States during the 1930s and the 1940s. His influential textbook Language, published in 1933, presented a comprehensive description of American structural linguistics. He made significant ...more

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Age: Died at 62 (1887-1949)

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Profession: Scientist

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#54 on Famous People Named Leonard

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Sibawayh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Linguists
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16

Sibawayh


Abū Bishr ʿAmr ibn ʿUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Baṣrī, commonly known as Sībawayh, was an influential linguist and grammarian of the Arabic language. His seminal work Al-Kitab was the first written grammar of the language. Despite his significance to the development of the Arabic language and linguistic ...more

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Age: Died at 36 (760-796)

Birthplace: Beyza, Iran

Nationality: Iran

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