Regents' Proceedings 324
John M. Lawler, Ph.D., associate professor of linguistics in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, will retire from active faculty status on May 31, 2009.
Professor Lawler earned his B.A. degree from St. Benedict's College in 1964, his M.A. degree from the University of Washington in 1967, and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1973. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan as an assistant professor in 1973 and was promoted to associate professor in 1977.
Professor Lawler is a nationally and internationally recognized scholar of cognitive grammar and cognitive linguistics. He is also a well-known scholar of generics and metaphor theory, and was an early promoter of the use of computational tools for linguistic analysis. He is the author of a range of journal articles, chapters, and conference proceedings, and co-edited the book, Using Computers in Linguistics (1998). He also authored several software applications, including the widely known "Chomskybot," an early demonstration of the possibilities of computational linguistics. In 1992, he was awarded a Unanimous Resolution of Gratitude from the Linguistic Society of America for his website, which includes a widely referenced section containing questions and answers about linguistics.
Professor Lawler was an exuberant, much-admired instructor of undergraduates in the Department of Linguistics and the Residential College, where he inspired students to think carefully about the power of words. He taught a variety of highly popular courses on metaphor, English grammar, and general linguistics and served as the head undergraduate advisor in linguistics from 1988-2001. He received the Excellence in Education Award from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LS&A) in 1991, 1992, and 1993. Professor Lawler was integrally involved in steering the growth of computing within the Department of Linguistics, the Residential College, and the College of LS&A during the 1980s and early 1990s, and achieved national recognition for his contributions to the Linguistic Society of America in the area of information technology.
The Regents salute this distinguished teacher and researcher by naming John M. Lawler associate professor emeritus of linguistics.