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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. 

  • Avram Noam Chomsky (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive...  more

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  • Pier Paolo Pasolini (Italian: [ˌpjɛr ˈpaːolo pazoˈliːni]; 5 March 1922 – 2 November 1975) was...  more

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  • John Anthony Burgess Wilson, (; 25 February 1917 – 22 November 1993), who published under the...  more

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  • Abū Rayḥān Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad Al-Bīrūnī (Persian: ابوریحان محمد بن احمد البیرونی‎ Abū Rayḥān...  more
  • Larry Wall (born September 27, 1954) is an American computer programmer and author. He created...  more
  • Desiderius Erasmus

    Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus (; 28 October 1466 – 12 July 1536), known as Erasmus or Erasmus...  more


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  • Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest,...  more
  • Steven Arthur Pinker (born September 18, 1954) is a Canadian-American cognitive psychologist,...  more

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  • John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (; 3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet,...  more

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  • Edward Sapir (; January 26, 1884 – February 4, 1939) was an American anthropologist-linguist,...  more
  • Mikhail Mikhailovich Bakhtin (; Russian: Михаи́л Миха́йлович Бахти́н, pronounced [mʲɪxɐˈil...  more
  • Antonio Francesco Gramsci (UK: , US: , Italian: [anˈtɔːnjo franˈtʃesko ˈɡramʃi] (listen); 22...  more
  • James Owen Dorsey was an American ethnologist, linguist, and Episcopalian missionary in the...  more
  • Pāṇini

    Pāṇini (पाणिनि) (pronounced [paːɳɪnɪ], fl. 4th century BCE; older research mentions "6th to...  more
  • Not to be confused with the English naturalist Leonard Blomefield (1800–1893)Leonard...  more
  • Sibawayh

    Abū Bishr ʿAmr ibn ʿUthmān ibn Qanbar Al-Baṣrī (c. 760–796, Arabic: أبو بشر عمرو بن عثمان بن...  more
  • Alexander Graham Bell ('Graham' pronounced ) (March 3, 1847 – August 2, 1922) was a ...  more

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  • Bernard Comrie

    Bernard S. Comrie, (; born 23 May 1947) is a British-born linguist. Comrie is a specialist...  more
  • Carol Chomsky is a professor....  more
  • John Hamilton McWhorter V (; born October 6, 1965) is an American academic and linguist who is...  more
  • Karl Brugmann

    Karl Brugmann (16 March 1849 – 29 June 1919) was a German linguist. He is noted for his work...  more
  • William Stanley Merwin (September 30, 1927 – March 15, 2019) was an American poet who wrote...  more
  • Peter Nielsen Ladefoged was a British linguist and phonetician who travelled the world to...  more
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Christian Karl Ferdinand von Humboldt (, also US: , UK: , German: [ˈvɪlhɛlm...  more
  • Jens Otto Harry Jespersen (Danish: [ɒtˢo ˈjɛspɐsn̩]; 16 July 1860 – 30 April 1943) was a...  more