Grover Hudson
Professor, emeritus
Program in Linguistics
619 Red Cedar Road, Wells Hall B-331
East Lansing, MI, 48824-1027

Retired since 2008 from the Program in Linguistics of the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages at Michigan State University, I  continue research and writing on Ethiopian and Afroasiatic linguistics. Until I began to focus on Ethiopian linguistics, my interest in theoretical linguistics was to discourage the unreasonable and unnecessary diachronic metaphor in synchronic phonology: speech derived from theoretical underlying' forms via ordered rules or ranked constraints. Theoretical phonology is yet unwilling to give up these complicating fantasies. (Maybe it has largely given them up, in practice, but without rejecting them.)

An early interest in the descriptive linguistics of the Highland East Cushitic group gave way to historical linguistics of northeast Africa, especially northeast African Semitic (15 languages mostly in Ethiopia), and particularly their archaic traits usually attributed to Cushitic 'substratum' influence presumed, in the absence of evidence, as part of the theory of northeast African Semitic origin in early third millenium BP migrations from South Arabia. A later interest arising from work on Northeast African Semitic reconstruction is language evolution in prehistory, with the rapid growth of symbolic lexicon and propositional and structure-dependent language in association with the cultural explosion of the species (and perhaps the out-of-Africa human migrations) from about 50,000 BP.

Regarding my recent book Northeast African Semitic: Lexical Comparisons and Analysis, see

I am married to Mutsuko Endo Hudson, a linguist and director of the Michigan State University Japanese program.

Following are a publications list and links to a few areas of interest (some needing updating, indeed; but the bibliography of Highland East Cushitic is reasonably current).

List of Ethiopian languages

Annotated bibliography of books for learning Amharic

Bibliography of Highland East Cushitic languages

Bibliography of selected descriptive work on 14 Ethiopian and Eritrean Semitic languages

Publications list

"Upon this first...rule of reason, that in order to learn you must desire to learn, and in so desiring not be satisfied with what you already incline to believe, there follows one corollary which itself deserves to be inscribed upon every wall of the city of philosophy: Do not block the way of inquiry."
Charles Sanders Peirce, 1896

"There are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men.
These are ambition and avarice; the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have in many minds the most violent effects...
And of what kind are the men that will strive for this profitable preeminence, through all the bustle of cabal, the heat of contention, the infinite mutual abuse of parties, tearing to pieces the best of characters?
It will not be the wise and moderate, the lovers of peace and good order, the men fittest for the trust. It will be the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits."
Benjamin Franklin, 1787

The intellect of man is forced to choose
perfection of the life, or of the work,
And if it take the second must refuse
A heavenly mansion, raging in the dark.
When all that story's finished, what's the news?
In luck or out the toil has left its mark:
That old perplexity an empty purse,
Or the day's vanity, the night's remorse.
W. B. Yeats, 'The Choice'

         Mutsuko Endo Hudson and I at the
                Alhambra, Granada, Spain

This page is last updated and revised 26 March 2014.