University of Nevada, Reno

Faculty and Staff

William JacobsenWilliam H. Jacobsen, Jr.


Professor Emeritus, English


University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., Linguistics, June 1964.
Harvard University, Cambridge, A.B., magna cum laude, Linguistics and Romance Languages.


Research Interests

Descriptive and historical linguistics; American Indian languages; Basque.



“Basque Language Origin Theories.” In Basque Cultural Studies, edited by William A. Douglass, Carmelo Urza, Linda White, and Joseba Zulaika, 27-43. Basque Studies Program Occasional Papers Series, No. 5. Reno: Basque Studies Program, University of Nevada, Reno, 1999.

“Comment on R. L. Trask’s ‘Basque and Dene-Caucasian: A Critique from the Basque Side,’” Mother Tongue 1 (December 1995): 120-142.

“Review of Gorka Aulestia, Basque-English Dictionary,” American Reference Books Annual 21 (1990): 440. Englewood, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.

“The Analog of the Passive Transformation in Ergative-Type Languages.” In Grammar Inside and Outside the Clause: Some Approaches to Theory from the Field, edited by Johanna Nichols and Anthony C. Woodbury, 176-191. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.


Fellowships and Honors

Charter Member, Center for Advanced Study, University of Nevada, Reno, 1984.

Outstanding Researcher Award, University of Nevada, Reno, 1983.

University Fellowship in Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, 1954-55 and 1956-57.

Phi Beta Kappa, 1953; Sigma Xi, 1956; Phi Kappa Phi, 1969.

Professional Employment

Assistant Professor of English, University of Nevada, Reno, 1965-68; Associate Professor, 1968-74; Professor, 1974-; of Linguistics, 1989-; Emeritus, 1994-.

Visiting Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley, Spring 1971.

Acting Assistant Professor, University of Washington, Seattle, Anthropology, 1961-62, Linguistics, 1962-64.

Professional Societies

Linguistic Society of America (Life Member).

International Linguistic Association.

Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (Vice President 1991, President 1992).

Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory.

North American Association for the History of the Language Sciences.

American Anthropological Association (Fellow).
Society for Linguistic Anthropology.

Southwestern Anthropological Association.

Full curriculum vitae.



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