About Professor William Foley

Professor William Foley's research interests include: Syntactic theory from a lexicalist approach; The role of semantics in syntax; The usefulness of modern syntactic theories in the insightful description of the Austronesian and Papuan languages of the Pacific; Fieldwork in Pacific area languages, specifically in the Papuan languages of the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea, such as Yimas, Watam and Mambuwan, as well as some Austronesian languages like Palauan, Fijian and Tagalog; Anthropological linguistics; The Boasian/Humboldtian question of the relationship between language and thought and recent empirical approaches to investigate this; Ethnopoetics, the specific linguist practices cultures use to create various verbal genres like narratives, proverbs, songs, poetry, etc and the aesthetic value and social role speakers ascribe to these.

Selected publications

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