Thursday, May 23, 2019


There is an effect when students start to learn syntax that I will call imprinting: Whatever proposal is presented first to a student becomes the standard. Subsequent proposals face a burden of proof not faced by the original, in the sense that subsequent proposals need to show how they are superior to the original proposal (and why the original proposal is wrong). All things being equal, the original wins.

Friday, May 17, 2019

The Khoisan Languages

This is a website built by students in my Spring 2018 seminar: The Khoisan Languages.
We are still interested in getting volunteers to add languages and data, and to make
the site more accessible. This summer (2019), we have a volunteer Mirella B.,
who will be working on the project.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Instructions for Grammar Elicitation Session Bundles.

These are the instructions from our ELAR deposit for N|uu. The way that I store my data is very useful to me as a syntactician, so I thought I would share it. For elicitation, I record every sentence that I elicit individually, at the time I elicit it. One immediate benefit of this procedure is that I can use the recording to verify my transcription right away. As a consequence, my transcriptions are usually pretty accurate. Another benefit is that I can play the recording over and over, without having to bother the consultant with several repetitions of the same sentence (which can be tiring for them). 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) Fellows for 2019-2020

I have applied for this in the past, but did not get it. This time I was successful. Judy B. helped a lot, reading over my proposal and giving me feedback. So that is an important tip: Try to get advice from a successful past awardee.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Summary of Fieldwork Discussion Group 2018-2019

Here is a summary of our series of fieldwork talks for the academic year 2019-2019.
If you are interested in presenting next semester, please contact me.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Internal Structure of Reflexive Pronouns

It does not look like I will be able to finish this squib to the degree I would want before I leave for Botswana. So I am posting it on my blog.

The Internal Structure of Reflexive Pronouns

Friday, April 19, 2019

Timeline of Wh-in-situ

I prepared this for my course. I thought others might find it useful. If anybody thinks I have left out something important, or made a mistake, let me know.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Opening Remarks: Antisymmetry and Comparative Syntax

Here are my opening remarks for the workshop in honor of Richard Kayne held at NYU on March 29 and 30, 2019.

Saturday, March 23, 2019


I have been catching up on a show called Counterpart on cable TV (as of March 2019) with my daughter. Here is the premise, as summarized on Wikipedia: “Howard Silk has been working for a United Nations agency based in Berlin for thirty years; however, his rank is too low for him to be told what his work really involves. In fact, the agency oversees a crossing point to a parallel Earth (the "Prime world"), a copy of Silk's world. This crossing point was opened or created by East German scientists in 1987 and these two versions of Earth have been diverging ever since.”

Friday, March 22, 2019

Students Supervised by Richard Kayne (1969-2019)

I tried to find a list of Richard Kayne's students, but couldn't find one. So I prepared this as a gift to him on his 75th birthday. The CUNY and NYU theses can be found on Proquest.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Fieldwork Discussion Group (Spring 2019)

We have an exciting lineup for Spring 2019. I hope you can attend.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Giving a Talk -- Some Practical Advice

I just attended the 2019 LSA meeting in NYC at the Sheraton Hotel. I attended every day, from Thursday January 3rd to Sunday January 6th, and saw many talks. Based on that experience, I have written up some notes on how to give a talk at the LSA.