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ABOUT ME (short version)

Gregory Ward received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. He is currently Professor of Linguistics, Gender & Sexuality Studies and, by courtesy, Philosophy at Northwestern University, where he has taught since 1986 (and was Chair of the Department of Linguistics from 1999-2004). His scholarship includes 180 talks, 80 papers, and 4 books in the general area of discourse/pragmatics, with specific research interests in pragmatic theory, information structure, and reference/anaphora.

ABOUT ME (long version)

Gregory Ward received his BA in Comparative Literature and Linguistics (with honors) from the University of California-Berkeley in 1978, and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1985. He is currently Professor of Linguistics at Northwestern University, where he has taught since 1986 (and was Chair from 1999-2004). He has also taught at 9 Linguistic Society of America Linguistic Institutes.

His primary research area is discourse/pragmatics, with specific interests in pragmatic theory, information structure, intonational meaning, and reference/anaphora. He has over 80 publications (including 4 books) and has given over 180 talks and presentations. Recent publications have investigated deferred reference, psycholingustic studies of transfer of possession verbs (with Meghan Salomon-Amend), event anaphora (with Andrew Kehler), functional compositionality (with Betty Birner and Jeffrey Kaplan), and generalized conversational implicature and the semantics-pragmatics boundary (with a research team). With Betty Birner, he co-authored Information Status and Noncanonical Word Order in English (Benjamins, 1998); with Birner and Rodney Huddleston, he co-authored 'Information Packaging', Chapter 16 of The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Cambridge 2002); with Laurence Horn, he is co-editor of Blackwell's The Handbook of Pragmatics (Blackwell 2004), and with Birner, he is co-editor of Drawing the Boundaries of Meaning: Neo-Gricean Studies in Pragmatics and Semantics in Honor of Laurence R. Horn (Benjamins 2006).

From 1986 to 1998, Ward was a consultant at AT&T Labs – Research, working on intonational meaning. He was co-PI on an NIH grant (1991-1996) to study sentence processing and again co-PI (with Julia Hirschberg) on an NSF grant (2003-2007) to study dialogue prosody for voice response systems. In 2004-05, he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and from 2004-2007 he served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA). In 2009, Ward was elected a Fellow of the LSA. He currently serves on five editorial boards.

At Northwestern, Ward teaches courses in pragmatic theory (Reference, LING 371; Pragmatics, LING 372; Implicature, LING 373), experimental methods (Experimental Pragmatics, LING 317), and gender/queer theory (Language & Gender, LING 223; Language & Sexuality, LING 327). He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program and since 2014 holds a courtesy appointment in the Department of Philosophy. In 2012, Ward received the E. LeRoy Hall Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. He is currently serving as Co-Director (with Héctor Carrillo) of the Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN).


Ward also serves as a freelance linguistic consultant on legal issues relating to sentence and utterance interpretation and, as a divertisement attributable to maternal influence and the excessive simplicity of Euchre, is a Silver Life Master in the American Contract Bridge League.



Theoretical Pragmatics


University of California, Berkeley.

B.A. in Linguistics (with Honors) and Comparative Literature. Graduated with Great Distinction in General Scholarship from the College of Letters & Sciences. Phi Beta Kappa.

Information Structure

Theories of Reference


University of Pennsylvania.

Ph.D. in Linguistics. Thesis: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Preposing. Advisor: Ellen F. Prince.

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