Empirical Linguistics of
Zellig S. Harris

  • Source material on the work of Zellig Harris in language, information, applied mathematics, and the foundations of linguistics.

  • Ongoing research and applications in linguistics, informatics, computer science, mathematics, philosophy of science.

Major Contributions


  • Overview
  • Formal methods of analysis
          Linguistics as an empirical science, with applications in natural language processing, parsing, and generation.
  • Theory of science sublanguages
          With applications in the organization and management of information in medicine, science, and technology.
  • Theory of Information
          With applications in data processing, information extraction, information retrieval, knowledge acquisition and machine learning.
  • Universal theory of language
          With applications in language comparison and classification, language learning in children and adults, and an account of the origin and evolution of language.


The Bampton Lectures

Four seminal lectures on the theory of language and information:

  • Shows how words carry meaning and how sentences carry information.
  • Explains the properties of language, with a plausible account of its origin and development (which we may be just beginning).
  • Indicates what is needed to know a language, and that child language requires no special explanatory principles.

Audio recordings and (new in 2015) transcripts.


The Paris Lectures

Lecture Notes on English Transformational Grammar
Université de Paris VIII, 1974
(Transl. 1976 by Maurice Gross: Notes du course de syntaxe, Paris: Editions du Seuil.)

Table of contents
1. Overview
2. Operators
3. The reductions
4. The grammar in terms of the variants


Computer Applications


Book of Ongoing Research

The Legacy of Zellig Harris: Language and Information into the 21st Century
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2002



The Legacy of Zellig Harris: Language and Information into the 21st Century
University of Pennsylvania, January 2003

L’héritage de Zellig Sabbetai Harris
Duino-Aurisina, 20–22 juin 2014


Book Reviews




Other Resources




In Remembrance

The Research Community


This site was originally created by Stephen B. Johnson
Professor, Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy
Quality and Medical Informatics Division
Weil Cornell Medical College

Email: webmaster at zelligharris dot org