Charles J. Fillmore (*1929)


  • Cognitive linguistics

Research Interests

Notable Ideas

  • developed the theories of Case Grammar (1968), and Frame Semantics (1976).

Academic Life

Charles J. Fillmore is an American linguist, and an Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Michigan in 1961.

He has been extremely influential in the areas of syntax and lexical semantics. In all of his research he has illuminated the fundamental importance of semantics, and its role in motivating syntactic and morphological phenomena. His earlier work, in collaboration with Paul Kay and George Lakoff, was generalized into the theory of Construction Grammar.

His current major project is called FrameNet; it is a wide-ranging on-line description of the English lexicon. In this project, words are described in terms of the Frames they evoke. Data is gathered from the British National Corpus, annotated for semantic and syntactic relations, and stored in a database organized by both lexical items and Frames.

Main Publications

  • Fillmore, Charles (1992). Towards a frame-based lexicon: the case of RISK. With B. T. Atkins. In Frames and Fields, edited by A. Lehrer and E. Kittay, Erlbaum Publishers, 75-102.
  • Fillmore, Charles (1992). 'Corpus linguistics' vs. 'Computer-aided armchair linguistics '. Directions in Corpus Linguistics, Mouton de Gruyter, 35-60. (Proceedings from a 1992 Nobel Symposium on Corpus Linguistics, Stockholm.)
  • Fillmore, Charles (1994). Humor in academic discourse. In What's Going On Here? Complementary Studies of Professional Talk, edited by A. D. Grimshaw, Advances in Discourse Processes, XLIII, 271-310, Academic Press.
  • Fillmore, Charles (1994). Starting where the dictionaries stop: the challenge for computational lexicography. With B. T. Atkins. In Computational Approach to the Lexicon, edited by B. T. Atkins and A. Zampolli, Oxford University Press.

Categories: People