Aug 20, 2020

‘Incredibly vibrant’: UC Berkeley I School Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg Dies at 75

From The Daily Cal

‘Incredibly vibrant’: UC Berkeley linguist Geoffrey Nunberg dies at 75

By Veronica Roseborough

Far-reaching NPR linguist and adjunct UC Berkeley professor Geoffrey Nunberg died Aug. 11 at the age of 75.

To many, Nunberg was a rare type of person who found joy in listening to others and exploring connections between language and politics. To his daughter, Sophie Nunberg, he was a clog-wearing father who gave her “embarrassment tickets” for doing chores and who later inspired her to pursue language and writing...

This fascination with countless facets of knowledge was one of the reasons he decided to become an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley’s School of Information, according to his sister, Barbara Nunberg. Geoffrey co-taught alongside Paul Duguid, who recommended him for the position after working as his colleague at Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center.

“For me, and I hope for him too, it was very engaging,” Duguid said. “Information, as he would always say, is something of a nebulous subject, but we were able to try to give it shape, working back and forth together.”


As a faculty member at the I School, Nunberg co-taught two courses every spring with Paul Duguid, his colleague and friend: an undergraduate course, “History of Information,” and a graduate course, “Concepts of Information.”

Geoff Nunberg (Nicole Katano)
Geoff Nunberg (Nicole Katano)
Geoff Nunberg and Paul Duguid
Geoffrey Nunberg, left, with friend and I School colleague Paul Duguid in 2018. (UC Berkeley photo by Caitlin Appert-Nguyen)

Last updated:

August 21, 2020