For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Larry Trask.

Larry Trask

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article relies largely or entirely on a single source. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help improve this article by introducing citations to additional sources.Find sources: "Larry Trask" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (July 2024) This article is written like an obituary. Wikipedia is not a memorial site; please help improve the article to make it more encyclopedic. (May 2024) (Learn how and when to remove this message)
Larry Trask
Robert Lawrence Trask

(1944-11-10)10 November 1944
Died27 March 2004(2004-03-27) (aged 59)
Brighton, England
  • Esther Barrutia (divorced)
  • Jan Lock
Academic background
ThesisSynchronic and Diachronic Studies in the Grammar of Basque (1984)
Doctoral advisorCharles Ernest Bazell
Academic work
Main interests
WebsiteThe Larry Trask Archive

Robert Lawrence Trask (10 November 1944 – 27 March 2004) was an American-British professor of linguistics at the University of Sussex, and an authority on the Basque language and the field of historical linguistics.


Born in Olean, New York, he initially studied chemistry in his home country, but after a brief stint in the Peace Corps he took an interest in linguistics. He received his doctorate in linguistics from the University of London, and thereafter taught at various universities in the United Kingdom. He became a professor of linguistics at the University of Sussex.

He was considered an authority on the Basque language: his book The History of Basque (1997) is an essential reference on diachronic Basque linguistics and probably the best introduction to Basque linguistics as a whole. He was at work compiling an etymological dictionary of that language when he died; the unfinished work was posthumously published on the Internet by Max W. Wheeler.[1] He was also an authority on historical linguistics, and had written about the problem of the origin of language. He also published two introductory books to linguistics: Language: The basics (1995) and Introducing Linguistics (coauthored with Bill Mayblin) (2000), and several dictionaries on different topics of this science: A dictionary of grammatical terms in linguistics (1993), A dictionary of phonetics and phonology (1996), A student's dictionary of language and linguistics (1997), Key concepts in language and linguistics (1999), The dictionary of historical and comparative linguistics (2000) and The Penguin dictionary of English grammar (2000).

Some of his other books include:

  • Language Change (1994)
  • Historical Linguistics (1996), ISBN 0-340-60758-0
  • The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (1997)
  • The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (2000), ISBN 0-14-051464-3
  • Time Depth in Historical Linguistics (co-editor) (2000), ISBN 1-902937-06-6
  • Mind the Gaffe (2001), ISBN 0-14-051476-7
  • How to Write Effective Emails (2005), ISBN 0-14-101719-8


  1. ^ Trask, R. Larry (2008), Wheeler, Max W. (ed.), Etymological Dictionary of Basque (PDF), Falmer, UK: University of Sussex, retrieved 2 March 2020
{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Larry Trask
Listen to this article

This browser is not supported by Wikiwand :(
Wikiwand requires a browser with modern capabilities in order to provide you with the best reading experience.
Please download and use one of the following browsers:

This article was just edited, click to reload
This article has been deleted on Wikipedia (Why?)

Back to homepage

Please click Add in the dialog above
Please click Allow in the top-left corner,
then click Install Now in the dialog
Please click Open in the download dialog,
then click Install
Please click the "Downloads" icon in the Safari toolbar, open the first download in the list,
then click Install

Install Wikiwand

Install on Chrome Install on Firefox
Don't forget to rate us

Tell your friends about Wikiwand!

Gmail Facebook Twitter Link

Enjoying Wikiwand?

Tell your friends and spread the love:
Share on Gmail Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Buffer

Our magic isn't perfect

You can help our automatic cover photo selection by reporting an unsuitable photo.

This photo is visually disturbing This photo is not a good choice

Thank you for helping!

Your input will affect cover photo selection, along with input from other users.


Get ready for Wikiwand 2.0 🎉! the new version arrives on September 1st! Don't want to wait?