William A. Foley
William Auguste Foley

Academic background
Academic work
InstitutionsColumbia University, University of Sydney
Main interestsPapuan languages and Neurolinguistics
Notable worksThe Papuan Languages of New Guinea (1986)
Notable ideasRole and reference grammar

William A. Foley (William Auguste "Bill" Foley; born 1949) is an American linguist and professor at Columbia University[1] He was previously located at the University of Sydney. He specializes in Papuan and Austronesian languages. Foley developed Role and Reference Grammar in a partnership with Robert Van Valin.


In 1986, Foley published The Papuan Languages of New Guinea through Cambridge University Press. In 1991, his book The Yimas Language of New Guinea was published by Stanford University Press. In 1997, his book Anthropological Linguistics, "the first comprehensive textbook in anthropological linguistics" was published with an introduction by Noam Chomsky.[2]



  1. ^ "GU4800: Language and Society | W. Foley | Science and Society". scienceandsociety.columbia.edu. Retrieved 2021-11-06.
  2. ^ Foley, William (1997). Anthropological Linguistics (in English and Chinese). Wiley. ISBN 978-0-631-15122-7.