Larry Hyman received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He taught at the University of Southern California from 1971 to 1988 and joined Berkeley's Department of Linguistics in 1988, which he chaired from 1991 to 2002. He has worked extensively on phonological theory and other aspects of language structure - particularly as concerns the history, typology, and description of the Niger-Congo languages of Africa, especially Bantu. He has published several books (e.g. Phonology Theory and Analysis, A Theory of Phonological Weight) and numerous theoretical articles.
His current interests center on phonological theory, tone systems, and the comparative and historical study of the Bantu language family (of about 500 languages) for which he founded the Comparative Bantu On-Line Dictionary (CBOLD), originally funded by the National Science Foundation and in collaboration with the Laboratoire Dynamique du Langage (CNRS / Université Lyon 2). He is also Executive Director of the France-Berkeley Fund and has held several visiting positions in Lyon, Paris and Toulouse.