Dr. Robert P. Stockwell

Prof. Robert P. Stockwell

Department of Linguistics
3125 Campbell Hall
Los Angeles CA 90095-1543

Professor Stockwell passed away on Oct. 28, 2012.  This web page was Prof. Stockwell's own personal page at UCLA during the later part of his career, and it is retained here as a resource for research and historical study.  We have added various commemorative materials:   a brief obituary plus some video material from the memorial service held at UCLA in December 2012. We thank Donka Minkova Stockwell for making these materials available.


Brief obituary

Our founding chair, Robert Stockwell, passed away October 28, 2012, following a long illness.

Bob was born June 12, 1925, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was educated at the University of Virginia, where he received a B.A. in English and Greek in 1946, an M.A. in English in 1949, and a Ph.D. in English Philology in 1952. He worked from 1952 to 1956 School of Languages of the Foreign Service Institute, where he developed highly effective pedagogical materials, grounded in linguistic theory, for the teaching of Spanish. Bob came to UCLA as an Assistant Professor in the English Department in 1956. He soon was marshaling the resources for an effective linguistics program: the Interdepartmental Program in linguistics was approved in 1960, followed by the Center for Research in Languages and Linguistics in 1963 and then full department status in 1966 -- the same year Bob was promoted to Full Professor. For many years Bob served as the new department's chair.

The department proved to be an intellectually very lively place, one to which strong faculty were readily attracted. With a number of important recruitments, the department rose in only a few years to scholarly eminence and thence to a very high national program ranking. Bob was also in the thick of the new department's research activities, notably in his coauthorship of The Major Syntactic Structures of English (1973), with Paul Schachter and Barbara Partee, and also in his longstanding work (much of it with his colleague and later spouse Donka Minkova, UCLA English Department) on the history of English. As his health declined during the last few years we saw little of Bob, but the strong academic culture of the department he left behind has remained as an attestation of his work.

Commemmorative material from the University memorial service

Powerpoint presentation -- a large collection of photos, arrranged as a slideshow

Video -- an interview by Thomas Hinnebusch (.mov format)

Curriculum Vitae (2012)

Research Interests

Selected Publications

1973. "Problems in the interpretation of the Great English Vowel Shift." Studies in Linguistics: Papers in Honor of George L. Trager, ed. by M. Estellie Smith. The Hague: Mouton, 344-62. Also in essays on the Sound Pattern of English, ed. D. L Goyvaerts and G. K. Pullum. The Hague: Mouton, 344-62.

1977. "Motivations for exbraciation in Old English". Mechanisms of Syntactic Change, ed. by Charles Li, 291-314. Austin: Univ. of Tx Press.

1988. With Donka Minkova. "The English Vowel Shift: Problems of coherence and explanation". Luick Revisited, ed. by Dieter Kastovsky, Gero Bauer, and Jacek Fisiak. Tugingen: Gunter Narr, 355-394.

1994. With Donka Minkova. "Syllable weight, prosody, and meter in Old English." Diachronica 11.1.

For some more recent publications, see Curriculum Vitae.


After retiring in 1994, I now teach periodically on a recall basis.

Biographical Information

Curriculum Vitae also available.

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Last Updated:  Mar. 25, 2012 (Webmaster)