MCCAWLEY, James David

MCCAWLEY, James David (born James Quillan McCawley Jr.). Glasgow 30.3.1938 — Chicago 10.4.1999. U.S. (Scottish-born) Linguist. Professor in Chicago. Son of James Quillan McC., a businessman, and Monica Bateman, a physician, a Roman Catholic family. In 1939 the father moved to Toronto, but the family only followed after the war. From now they were living in Chicago. Entered University of Chicago at the age of 16, studied first mathematics. In 1959-60 at Münster, back in Chicago switched to linguistics and studied it at MIT completing his Ph.D. 1965 under Chomsky. From 1964 Assistant Professor, then 1970 full Professor of Linguistics at Chicago until his death, finally as “Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and of East Asian Languages and Civilizations”. Died suddenly of a heart attack. He was living at walking distance from the university and never drove a car. His hobbies were music and gastronomy. Married 1971 Noriko Akatsuka, divorced 1978. In linguistics his main interests were syntax and semantics.

Publications: Diss. The accentual system of standard Japanese. Manuscript 1965, published with changed title in 1968; several books on linguistics.

– “The phonological theory behind Whitney’s Sanskrit Grammar”, Language and Areas. Studies presented to George V. Bobrinskoy. Chicago 1967, 77-85.

Sources: J. Lawler, Language 79, 2003, 614-625; Wikipedia with photo.

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