Professor Paul Newman received his B.A. (Philosophy) and M.A. (Anthropology) from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. (Linguistics) from UCLA. His dissertation, which was based on extensive fieldwork in northern Nigeria, was a grammar of Tera, a previously undescribed Chadic language.
Newman also has a law degree (J.D., summa cum laude) from Indiana University and is a member of the Indiana Bar. He is currently Vice-President for Litigation of the ACLU of Indiana.
He has held academic positions at Yale University, Abdullahi Bayero College (now Bayero University) (Kano, Nigeria), University of Leiden (The Netherlands), and University of Michigan, where he was Senior Copyright Specialist for the library system. His major appointment, for some twenty-five years, was at Indiana University, which included six years as Chair of department. At Indiana he is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and Adjunct Professor of Law.
He was the founding editor of the Journal of African Languages and Linguistics, on which he still serves as consulting editor. In addition to LD&C he has been on the editorial board of Language, Current Anthropology, Studies in African Linguistics, and Anthropological Linguistics.
Throughout his career, has been the recipient of numerous honors. These include Personal Chair in African Linguistics, University of Leiden; Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford; Visiting Research Fellow, Centre for Linguistic Typology, Australian National University; Visiting Professor, Indiana–Hamburg Exchange Program; Distinguished Professor, Indiana University; Plenary Speaker, First International Conference on Language Documentation & Conservation, University of Hawaii; Fulbright Specialist in Law, University of Haifa; and Visiting Professor, University of Bayreuth.
He is a life member of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), in which he has served on the Endangered Languages Committee and the Social and Political Issues Committee. He volunteered for a number of years as Special Counsel to the Society, dealing primarily with copyright matters, in appreciation of which he was recently honored with the Linguistic Service Award (2012).
He has published nineteen books (written or edited) and over a hundred articles, book reviews, and ethnomusicological works. The following is a selected list:
Modern Hausa-English Dictionary [with Roxana Ma Newman] (1977); Nominal and Verbal Plurality in Chadic (1990); On Being Right: Greenberg’s African Linguistic Classification and the Methodological Principles which Underlie It (1995); The Hausa Language: An Encyclopedic Reference Grammar (2000); Linguistic Fieldwork [with Martha Ratliff] (2001); Klingenheben’s Law in Hausa (2004); Chadic and Hausa Linguistics: Selected Papers of Paul Newman, with Commentaries, ed. by Philip J. Jaggar and H. Ekkehard Wolff (2002); Klingenheben’s Law in Hausa (2004); A Hausa–English Dictionary (2007). Online Bibliography of Chadic and Hausa Linguistics (2012)
“Comparative Chadic: phonology and lexicon” [with Roxana Ma], Journal of African Languages 5:218–251 (1966); “Music from the villages of Northeastern Nigeria,” [with E. H. Davidson et al.] Asch Records (1971); “Syllable weight as a phonological variable,” Studies in African Linguistics 3:301–323 (1972); “Chadic classification and reconstructions,” Afroasiatic Linguistics 5:1–42 (1977); “Syllable weight and tone,” Linguistic Inquiry 12:670–673 (1981); “An interview with Joseph Greenberg,” Current Anthropology 32:453–467 (1991); “Fieldwork and field methods in linguistics,” California Linguistic Notes 23(2):1–8 (1992), reprinted in LD&C 3: 113–25 (2009); ); “The endangered languages issue as a hopeless cause,” in Language Death and Language Maintenance, ed. by Mark Janse and Sijmen Tol, pp. 1–13 (2003); “An interview with Paul Newman,” [with Alan Kaye] Semiotica 166: 237–78 (2007); “Review of Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics, ed. by M. Coulthard and A. Johnson,” International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 18: 161-67 (2011); “Copyright and other legal concerns,” in The Handbook of Linguistic Fieldwork, ed. by Nicholas Thieberger, pp. 430–56 (chap. 19) (2012).