Adele Goldberg (linguist)

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Adele Eva Goldberg
Born (1963-11-09) November 9, 1963 (age 55)
ResidenceUnited States
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley
Known forConstruction grammar
Spouse(s)Ali Yazdani
Scientific career
FieldsCognitive linguistics
Cognitive science
InstitutionsPrinceton University

Adele Eva Goldberg (born November 9, 1963) is an American linguist, best known for the construction grammar in the tradition of cognitive linguistics.

Goldberg's research focus is on the psychology of language, including theoretical and experimental aspects of grammar and its representation, acquisition of form-function correspondences, and syntactic priming. Her works aim to illuminate parallels between language and other cognitive processes.

She is best known for her work on constructions: grammatical pairings of form and functions that are related to one another in a systematic network of learned knowledge; statistical preemption: the idea that competition between grammatical constructions in context can account for the ill-formedness of certain expressions that would otherwise be licensed; the creation and development of the novel construction-learning paradigm: which is akin to learning novel words with novel meanings; and the suggestion that both statistics (particularly in the form of skewed input) and the functions of constructions play an important role in learning.

She argues that the functions of constructions often help demystify traditional linguistic puzzles such as island constraints, one-anaphora, and obligatory modifiers.

With Francesca Citron, she investigates the neural processing of conventional metaphors and their physical and emotional correlates.

Since 2004, she has been Professor of Psychology and Linguistics at Princeton University. From 1997 to 2004, she was Associate Professor of Linguistics at the Beckman Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. From 1997 to 1998, she was Associate Professor of Linguistics and from 1992 to 1997 Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, San Diego.

Personal Life[edit]

In 1985, Goldberg received a B.A. in Mathematics and Philosophy from University of Pennsylvania. She received an M.A. in 1989 in linguistics, and in 1992 a PhD in linguistics, both from the University of California at Berkeley, studying with George Lakoff, Charles Fillmore, and Dan Slobin. She is married to Ali Yazdani, a professor of physics, and they have two children. Her brother is Ken Y. Goldberg, an IEOR professor at UC Berkeley.


  • 2019 Fillmore Professorship, Linguistic Society of America Institute.
  • 2016 Labex International Chair, Paris, France.
  • 2016 Humboldt Research Award.
  • 2014 Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America.
  • 2010–2014 Visiting Fellow, Einstein Foundation. Freie Universitat, Berlin.
  • 2003–2004 Fellow at Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences. Stanford, California.
  • 2000 Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study, UIUC.
  • 1996 Gustave O. Arlt Book Award. North American Graduate Council for Constructions (1995).j

Selected publications[edit]

  • 2019: Explain Me This: Creativity, Competition and the Partial Productivity of Constructions. Princeton University Press.
  • 2006: Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2006. ISBN 9780199268528
  • 1995: Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. ISBN 0226300862


External links[edit]