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Norman Fraser

College positions:
Fellow Commoner
Aalborg University Business School
Contact details:

Dr Norman Fraser

Norman Fraser has spent more than 30 years founding and leading international IT businesses. In parallel, he has pursued academic research interests across a variety of disciplines, with particular emphasis on disciplinary interfaces.

After studying Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh (MA Hons) and computer science at University College London (MSc), he completed his PhD there in Computational Linguistics. He was a Research Assistant in the Department of Phonetics and Linguistics at UCL, and a Research Fellow in the Social and Computer Sciences Research Group in the Department of Sociology at the University of Surrey. During this period, he helped to pioneer the field of spoken dialogue systems and was the named inventor on one of the earliest patents for speech-enabled Siri-style spoken language assistants.

While at the University of Surrey he also collaborated with the distinguished theoretical linguist, Greville Corbett, to co-author the linguistic theory of Network Morphology. Together they co-founded the Surrey Morphology Group, a world-leading linguistics research centre devoted to the study of language diversity and its theoretical consequences.

In the 1990s his principal focus changed to IT business, and the cofounding of multiple successful technology ventures, including two IPOs, but he has remained active in the academic world, having been variously an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow in Sociology and a part time Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Surrey, a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Entrepreneurship, Henley Business School, University of Reading, and currently Adjunct Professor in Aalborg University Business School. In the latter, he has collaborated closely with Romeo Turcan for more than a decade in seeking to explicate the mechanisms of legitimation within the Sociology of Knowledge.

In Cambridge he is a Syndic (i.e. member of the governing body) of the Fitzwilliam Museum and a trustee of the Faraday Institute.

Select publications

  • Fraser, Norman M. and G. Nigel Gilbert (1991) Simulating speech systems. Computer Speech and Language 5: 81-99.
  • Fraser, Norman M. and Richard A. Hudson (1992) Inheritance in Word Grammar. Computational Linguistics 18: 133-59.
  • Corbett, Greville G. and Norman M. Fraser (1993) Network morphology: A DATR account of Russian nominal inflection. Journal of Linguistics 29: 113-42.
  • Corbett, Greville G., Norman M. Fraser and Scott McGlashan, eds. (1993) Heads in Grammatical Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Fraser, Norman M. and Greville G. Corbett (1997) Defaults in Arapesh. Lingua 103: 25-57.
  • Wooffitt, Robin C., Norman M. Fraser, Nigel Gilbert and Scott McGlashan (1997) Humans, Computers and Wizards. London: Routledge.
  • Turcan, Romeo V. and Norman M. Fraser (2016) An Ethnographic Study of New Venture and New Sector Legitimation: Evidence from Moldova. International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 11, No. 1: 72-88.
  • Turcan, Romeo V. and Norman M. Fraser (2018) Palgrave Handbook of Multidisciplinary Perspectives in Entrepreneurship. London: Palgrave Macmillan.