Gary F. Simons, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D. (Linguistics), Cornell University (1979)
  • M.A. (Linguistics), Cornell University (1976)
  • B.A. summa cum laude, Seattle Pacific University (1974)
Current positions
Other experience
  • Associate VP for Academic Affairs, SIL (1999–2009)
  • Committee on Endangered Languages and their Preservation, Linguistic Society of America (2006–2008)
  • International Linguistics Consultant, SIL (1982–2005)
  • Editorial board, Markup Languages: Theory and Practice (1998–2002)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of Texas at Arlington (1985–2002)
  • Director, Academic Computing, SIL (1986–1999)
  • Director, LinguaLinks Product Development, SIL (1997–1999)
  • Committee on Text Analysis and Interpretation (1989–1994) and Technical Review Committee (1996–1998), Text Encoding Initiative
  • Manager, Language Data Processing, SIL (1984–1985)
  • Translation Advisor for North Malaita, Solomon Islands (with SIL, 1979–1983)
  • Graduate Research Assistant for Language Variation and Limits to Communication Project (Joseph Grimes, Principal Investigator), involving 18 months field work in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands (1976–1978)
Research interests
  • Digital language documentation, description, and archiving
  • Markup languages and text encoding
  • Computational linguistics
  • Programming languages
  • Historical and comparative linguistics
  • Austronesian linguistics
Selected publications
2009. “Linguistics as a community activity: The paradox of freedom through standards.” In Time and Again: Theoretical Perspectives on Formal Linguistics. In honor of D. Terence Langendoen. William D. Lewis, Simin Karimi, Heidi Harley, and Scott O. Farrar (eds.), pages 235–250. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. [preprint]
2008. (with Steven Bird), “Toward a global infrastructure for the sustainability of language resources.” Proceedings of the 22nd Pacific Asia Conference on Language, Information and Computation, 20–22 November 2008, Cebu City, Philippines. Pages 87–100. [preprint]
2003. (with Steven Bird), “Seven dimensions of portability for language documentation and description.” Language 79(3):557–582. [preprint]
1998. “The nature of linguistic data and the requirements of a computing environment for linguistic research.” In Using Computers in Linguistics: a practical guide, edited by John Lawler and Helen Aristar Dry, pages 10–25. London and New York: Routledge. [preprint]
1996. (with Kenneth L. Pike). “Toward the historical reconstruction of matrix patterns in morphology.” Second author with In Kenneth L. Pike, Gary F. Simons, Carol V. McKinney, and Donald Burquest, eds. The Mystery of Cultural Contacts, Historical Reconstruction, and Text Analysis, pp. 1–37. Georgetown University Press.
1995. (with D. Terence Langendoen). “A rationale for the TEI recommendations for feature–structure markup.” Computers and the Humanities 29(3):191–209. [Reprinted in Nancy Ide and Jean Veronis, eds. The Text Encoding Initiative: Background and Context, pp. 191–209. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.]
1984. Powerful Ideas for Text Processing: an introduction to computer programming with the PTP language. Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics. 197 pp.
1982. “Word taboo and comparative Austronesian linguistics.” Pacific Linguistics C–76:157–226.
1979. Language Variation and Limits to Communication. Technical Report number 3, 228 pp. Ithaca, NY: Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics, Cornell University. (reprinted 1984 by Summer Institute of Linguistics, Dallas, TX)