Houston, Texas, U.S.A.77251-1892
Sydney Lamb, a native of Denver, Colorado, graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Economics and earned his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, where his dissertation was a description of a California Indian language.
He taught linguistics first at the University of California, Berkeley, then at Yale University. At the University of California he directed the Machine Translation Project under grants from the National Science Foundation, and at Yale University he was Director of the Linguistic Automation Project, also supported by the National Science Foundation. He has also taught at summer Linguistic Institutes at the University of Michigan, UCLA, and SUNY/Buffalo. He spent the year 1973-74 as a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, with a Fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
In 1977 he left Yale to devote full time to the development of a new type of computer memory whose invention was inspired by the relational network theory of language he had been developing. After selling his invention to another company, he went to Rice University in 1981 as Professor of Linguistics and Semiotics. He was later appointed Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences.
His earlier research and publications were in the areas of North American Indian languages, historical linguistics, computational linguistics, theory of linguistic structure, and the design of associative memory hardware for microcomputers. He is known as the father of the relational network theory of language, also known as 'stratificational theory'. In recent years he has been developing the theory further and exploring its relationships to neurological structures and to thinking processes. This work is described in his book, Pathways of the Brain: The Neurocognitive Basis of Language, published in 1999 by the John Benjamins Publishing Company (Amsterdam and Philadelphia) and in Chapters 12 through 18 of his more recent book "Language and Reality", published in 2004 by Continuum Books. (See also the web page on Neurocognitive Linguistics.) Benjamins has also published an autobiographical sketch.
Selected Recent Lectures and Presentations
"The Neurocognitive Basis of Language". (Ten lectures, with Michel Paradis and Peter A. Reich). York University, Toronto, Canada, July 28-29, 1997. (Sponsored by the Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States.)
"When Words are No Good". Foundation for Contemporary Theology, Houston, February 19, 1998.
"A Theory of the Cortical Representation of Linguistic Information". Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, Netherlands, March 30, 1998.
"The Neurocognitive Basis of Language". Three-hour tutorial at the 34th Colloquium of Linguistics, University of Mainz, Germany, September 7th, 1999.
"Language in the Brain" (with book signing). The Book Stop, Houston, October 15th, 1999, 7:30 pm.
"Neurocognitive Linguistics". Six two-hour lectures, Nanjing Normal University, May 2004.
" The Anatomy of Language" Three-hour tutorial workship at the Second International Conference on Cognitive Sciences, St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 2006.
" Language: Its Neurocognitive Basis" (Lecture Series, with William S.-Y. Wang), City University of Hong Kong, 30 November - 4 December 2009.
Three Lectures at the Summer School and Workshop in Systemic Functional Linguistics, Cardiff University, Wales, 14-16 September 2010.
"Systemic Networks, Relational Networks, and Neural Networks". Symposium on Connecting Paths: Lamb, Halliday, Hasan. City University of Hong Kong, 1 November 2010, and Sun Yat Sen University, GuangZhou, 3 November 2010.
East Asian Lecture Tour, 4-12 November 2010: Presentations at Nanjing Normal University, Shanghai University of International Studies, Shanghai University, National Taiwan University (3 Lectures), Wenzao Ursiline College of Languages (2 lectures).