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Professor Emeritus of Spanish

At UNC from 1980 to 2016


Ph.D. Indiana University, 1976
M.A. Indiana University, 1972
B.A. University of Virginia, 1969


Larry King’s undergraduate work at the University of Virginia (B.A. 1969) included a major in Spanish language and literature and a minor in Portuguese. During his graduate studies at Indiana University (M.A. 1972, Ph.D. 1976), his interests became more focused on language, which led him to concentrate on Spanish and Portuguese linguistics and the application of linguistics to the teaching of foreign languages. King began as a medievalist and worked with the Portuguese historian A.H. de Oliveira Marques while holding a Fulbright Grant in Portugal (1972-73). In Lisbon, he collected material for his dissertation on the language and works of the fifteenth century Portuguese chronicler Gomes Eanes de Zurara. After joining the linguistics faculty of Cornell University in 1974, he became interested in the synchronic description of languages, and began research on the meaning of grammatical forms in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. In 1980 he joined the Chapel Hill faculty and directed the Spanish language program for a number of years and served as Director of the UNC-CH Year at Sevilla, Spain, from 1987 to 2004. King served as Chair of the Department of Romance Languages from 2006 to 2013 and entered phased retirement effective July 1, 2013.