“This is the latest version of the 1956 book which began the modern study of universals, and provides the foundation for many inquiries that followed. The hypotheses are cast at a moderate level of abstraction, and so are likely to survive as a basis for inquiry for many decades to come.”Prof. Dr. William Labov
"Joseph H. Greenberg was one of the most original and influential linguists of the twentieth century. He died at his home in Stanford, California, in May2001. Joseph H. Greenberg was a major pioneer in the development of linguistics as an empirical science. His work was always founded directly on quantitative data from a single language or from a wide range of languages. His chief legacy to contemporary linguistics is in the development of an approach to the study of language - typology and univerals - and to historical linguistics. Yet he also made major contributions to sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, phonetics and phonology, morphology, and especially African language studies." From an obituary by William Croft, University of Manchester, England. Martin Haspelmath is Professor of Linguistics at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Department of Linguistics, Leipzig, Germany.