Dean of the Faculty

Reed College Faculty Profiles

faculty photo image

Matt Pearson '92

Professor of Linguistics
Linguistics Department
Division of Philosophy, Religion, Psychology, and Linguistics

Matt Pearson received his BA in linguistics from Reed College in 1992, and his PhD in linguistics from UCLA in 2001. He has taught at Reed since 2001. The founding chair of Reed’s Linguistics Department, Matt teaches courses dealing with formal theory and grammatical analysis, focusing on morpho-syntax (the structure of words and sentences), typology and language universals, and the grammatical description of the world’s languages. He also teaches courses on semantics (the relationship between sentence structure and interpretation) and field methods (techniques for eliciting morpho-syntactic data from native speakers). Matt’s scholarship focuses on the syntax of Malagasy, the language of Madagascar. He has worked with native speakers of Malagasy in Madagascar, Montreal, and Los Angeles, and his research has appeared in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory and other publications. Matt is also interested in constructed languages, and in 1996 he developed the alien language for the NBC science fiction show Dark Skies.

Personal website


More faculty profiles