Lyle Richard Campbell (born October 22, 1942) is an American scholar and linguist known for his studies of indigenous American languages, especially those of Central America, and on historical linguistics in general. Campbell is professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Lyle Campbell was born on October 22, 1942, and was raised in rural Oregon. He received a B.A. in archaeology and anthropology from Brigham Young University in 1966, then an M.A. in linguistics from the University of Washington in 1967. He then did doctoral studies at UCLA, earning a Ph.D. in 1971 with a dissertation entitled "Quichean Linguistic Prehistory".
Campbell has held appointments at the University of Missouri (1971–1974), the State University of New York at Albany (1974–1989), Louisiana State University (1989–1994), the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand (1994–2004), the University of Utah (2004–2010), and currently the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He has been a visiting professor at Australian National University, Colegio de México, Memorial University, Ohio State University, University of Hamburg, University of Helsinki, National Autonomous University of Mexico, Universidad del País Vasco, University of Turku, and at three universities in Brazil. He has held joint appointments in Linguistics, Anthropology, Behavioral Research, Latin American Studies, and Spanish.
His research and teaching specializations include: historical linguistics, American Indian languages, documentation and revitalization of endangered languages, typology, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and Uralic languages.
He is the author of 21 books and 200+ articles; two of his books ( and Historical Syntax in Cross-Linguistic Perspectives, co-written with Alice C. Harris) were awarded the Leonard Bloomfield Book Award by the Linguistic Society of America for the best book in linguistics published in the previous two years. He is also co-founder of the Catalogue of Endangered Languages, and member of the Governance Council for the Endangered Languages Project.American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America