University Distinguished Lecture
Peter W. Culicover is currently Humanities Distinguished Professor in Linguistics. A native of New York, Culicover graduated from the Bronx High School of Science in 1962. He received his BA in Mathematics from the City College of New York in 1966 and his Ph.D in Linguistics from MIT in 1971. He served on the faculty of the University of California, Irvine and the University of Arizona, where he was Head of the Department of Linguistics, before coming to The Ohio State University in 1987. At OSU he was the founding Director of the Center for Cognitive Science (1989-2003) and served as Chair of the Department of Linguistics from 1998 to 2006. His awards include the Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Theoretical Linguistics at the University of Venice in 1997, the Humboldt Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 2005, Ohio State’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2008, and the University Distinguished Lecture in 2009-10. He has recently been named a Fellow of the Linguistics Society of America.
Culicover’s research is concerned primarily with understanding and explaining the syntactic structure of human languages. Among his publications are fourteen books and over sixty articles and chapters. In his research he has explored such topics as language learnability, computational modeling of language acquisition and language change, the grammar of focus, grammatical constructions, the grammar of contemporary English and the architecture of grammar. He is currently engaged in three main projects, one concerned with the sources and effects of complexity in grammar, one concerned with the grammatical analysis of ellipsis in natural language, and one concerned with the interactions between grammatical structure and focus interpretation in English and German.