I am a Professor
in the Linguistics Department
Before that, I was a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics & Philosophy
at MIT, in the RTG program.
My interests lie in many areas of A-syntax and morphology,
including structural licensing, EPP, clause types,
case, adpositions, agreement and argumenthood;
Germanic (morpho)syntax; early acquisition of syntax and morphology;
sentence processing; morphological processing; linguistic methodology; music cognition.
If you’re looking for me in my other guise as a musician, click here or
Selected Publications and Manuscripts
(with Jon Sprouse and Diogo Almeida) “Assessing the reliability of journal data in syntax:
Linguistic Inquiry 2001-2010” (under review).
“Linguistic evidence and grammatical theory” (2011).
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 2(2), 206-221.
“Grammaticality judgments” (2011). In Patrick Colm Hogan (ed.),
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences, 349-350. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
“Methodology” (2011). In Patrick Colm Hogan (ed.),
The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the Language Sciences, 497-501. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
searches should supplement judgements, not supplant them” (2009).
Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 28(1), 151-156.
“Status of linguistic evidence” (2006).
In Lynn Nadel (editor-in-chief),
Encyclopedia of cognitive science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 2, 910-917.
“Data and evidence” (2006).
In Keith Brown (editor-in-chief),
Encyclopedia of language and linguistics, 2nd edition, Oxford: Elsevier, vol. 3, 356-363.
about what we are asking speakers to do” (2005).
In Stephan Kepser & Marga Reis (eds.),
Linguistic evidence: Empirical, theoretical, and computational perspectives,
Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 457-485.
(Based on an invited talk presented at a workshop in Tübingen, 2004)
The empirical base of
linguistics: Grammaticality judgments and linguistic
methodology (1996). University of Chicago Press.
NOTE: The book has recently gone out of print, but I hope to reprint it with another press
in the near future. Please email me if you are interested.
“Superfluous do and Comparison of Spell-Outs” (under review).
“The status of nonagreeing don’t and theories of root infinitives” (2010).
Language Acquisition 17(4), 235-271.
“What it means (not) to know (number) agreement” (2009).
In José M. Brucart, Anna Gavarró & Jaume Solà (eds.),
Merging features: Computation, interpretation, and acquisition,
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 80-103.
(Based on an invited talk at GLOW in Barcelona in April, 2006)
“Why nonfinite be is not omitted while finite be is”
the 28th Boston University Conference on Language Development,
non-omission of nonfinite be” (2003).
Nordlyd 31(3), 606-622.
(Based on a talk presented in Tromsø in January, 2002)
inventory and case/agreement contingencies: A methodological note on
Rispoli (1999)” (2001).
Journal of Child Language 28(2), 507-515.
(with Kenneth Wexler) “An elicitation
study of young English children’s knowledge of tense:
Semantic and syntactic properties of optional infinitives” (2000).
of the 24th Boston University Conference on
Language Development, 669-683.
(with Kenneth Wexler and
Mabel Rice) “Subject
in children with SLI and unaffected controls: Evidence for the Agr/Tense omission model”
Language Acquisition 7, 317-344.
(with Kenneth Wexler) “Subject case licensing and English root
In Proceedings of
the 20th Boston University Conference on Language Development,
Note: Everything in this paper is superseded by the discussion in my dissertation
Review of Aspects of argument structure acquisition in Inuktitut by Shanley E.M. Allen (1997).
Canadian Journal of Linguistics 42(4), 492-495.
“Morphosyntax and syntax” (2004).
In Raymond D. Kent (ed.),
The MIT encyclopedia of communication disorders, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 354-358.
(with Inés Antón-Méndez, Mary K. Champion and Tamar H. Gollan)
“What the tip-of-the-tongue (TOT)
says about homophone frequency inheritance”
Memory & Cognition.
SYNTAX AND MORPHOLOGY
(with Victor S. Ferreira) (eds.) (2007).
The state of the art in speech error research:
Proceedings of the 2005 LSA Institute Workshop. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 53.
[Vic and I wrote the following contributions
to this volume: “Introduction” and
“What should we do with our speech error corpora?
Notes from the panel discussion.”]
(with Christina Kim and Davis Anderson)
“A novel approach
for studying speech errors” (2006).
Poster presented at the Third International Workshop on Language Production,
Northwestern University, Chicago.
(with Edward Gibson) “Disambiguation
preferences in noun phrase conjunction do not mirror corpus frequency” (1999).
Journal of Memory and Language 40, 263-279.
(Based on a poster presented at the CUNY Conference in March, 1996)
(with Edward Gibson) “Argumenthood
and English prepositional phrase attachment” (1999).
Journal of Memory and Language 40, 409-431.
(Based on a talk presented at the AMLaP Conference in September, 1997)
gaps, A-bar traces, and parallel parsing” (2005).
In Reiko Okabe & Kuniko Nielsen (eds.),
Papers in Psycholinguistics 2, UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics 13, 158-179.
“PP attachment and argumenthood” (1995).
In Carson T. Schütze, Jennifer B. Ganger & Kevin Broihier (eds.),
Papers on language processing and acquisition, MIT Working Papers
in Linguistics 26, 95-152.
[Some of this is superseded by material in the JML paper cited above;
some of it isn’t completely right. Please consult with me before using it.]
“There does not undergo predicate inversion” (in press, Snippets).
(with David Schueler) Review
of Nonfinite structures in theory
and change by D. Gary Miller (2007).
and diachronic microvariation in English do” (2004).
Lingua 114(4), 495-516.
(Based on a talk presented in Leuven in August, 2001)
is a verb not a verb?” (2003).
Nordlyd 31(2), 400-415.
(Based on a talk presented in Tromsø in January, 2002)
(with Ivano Caponigro) “Parameterizing
passive participle movement” (2003).
Linguistic Inquiry 34(2), 293-323.
(Based on a talk presented at the LSA, 2002)
“Syncretism and double agreement with Icelandic
nominative objects” (2003). In
Lars-Olof Delsing, Cecilia Falk, Gunlög Josefsson & Halldór Á. Sigurðsson (eds.),
Grammar in focus: Festschrift for Christer Platzack,
Lund: Department of Scandinavian Languages,
vol. 2, 295-303.
Korean ‘Case stacking’: The varied functions of the particles ka
and lul.” (2001).
The Linguistic Review 18(3), 193-232.
(Based on a talk presented at NELS in 1995(!))
the nature of default case” (2001).
Syntax 4(3), 205-238.
(Based on a talk presented in Utrecht in August, 1998)
“Semantically empty lexical heads as last resorts” (2001).
In Norbert Corver & Henk van Riemsdijk (eds.),
Semi-lexical categories: On the content of function words and the function of content words,
Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 127-187.
(Expanded version of a talk presented in Tilburg in May, 1999)
expletive constructions are not infected” (1999).
Linguistic Inquiry 30, 467-484.
second position clitic placement and the phonology-syntax
interface” (1994). In Andrew Carnie, Heidi Harley & Tony Bures (eds.),
Papers on phonology and morphology,
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 21, 373-473.
(My phonology generals paper)
a Minimalist account of quirky case and licensing
in Icelandic” (1993).
In Colin Phillips (ed.), Papers on Case &
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 19, 321-375.
NOTE: This paper was written in 1993 and has not been updated.
It does not reflect my current views on Icelandic, which can be found in my dissertation
(see below), especially chapter 4. It is posted here because
I have continued to be asked for it,
and because some of the arrows in the tree diagrams came out wrong in the published
version—they are corrected here. Aside from that, plus some small shifts in the page
breaks and typography,
this is how the paper originally appeared.
My 1997 MIT Ph.D. dissertation,
“INFL in child and adult language: Agreement, case and licensing,”
is distributed in hardcopy by
MIT Working Papers in Linguistics. Alternatively, you can download
it as a PDF file (1.4 MB). (This electronic version fixes several
typos and has more complete versions of a couple of references, while
preserving the original pagination.)
My CV, including a complete
publications list, is also online as a PDF file.
Please note that several sections of the dissertation have been further developed and/or
superseded by subsequent work. In particular,
• much of sections 2.6 and 3.2.2 became the Syntax paper
• section 3.2.1 was incorporated into the 2001 JCL paper
• an analysis of some of the unexplained facts in section 4.1.1 is
proposed in the Festscrift paper listed above;
• section 4.1.6 was refined and extended into the LI paper
• appendix 4.A evolved into the Linguistic Review article
• section 5.2.1 was partly pursued in the Nordlyd paper
and in the Corver and van Riemsdijk volume cited above;
• section 220.127.116.11 was superseded by the co-authored Language Acquisition article
[Please do not use data from section 18.104.22.168.2 of the
• sections 22.214.171.124 and 5.5.2 were pursued and reported on in Schütze and
Wexler 2000 (see above).
Department of Linguistics
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543
Office: 2224B Campbell Hall
Messages: (310) 825-0634
Fax: (310) 206-8595
My Musical Side
I am a pianist, vocalist, conductor, musical director and copyist. My specialty and passion is
Some of the shows for which I have been Musical Director include
(a staged reading with Vicki Lewis, Fred Willard, David Blue, and lots of other wonderful performers,
directed by Michael Urie; here’s a photo of
me rehearsing with Eden Espinosa and Luke Macfarlane)
clip from a promo concert,
with me at the keyboard in back. The actual show sounded much better.
Eduardo Enrikez won the ADA Award for Lead Actor in a Musical.
Here’s a cast photo featuring him with Ryan Nealy; I’m at my perch
way up in the top left corner of the picture.)
Tales of Tinseltown
(Read the LA
Times and LA Weekly
reviews—scroll down to find the latter. Here’s a
video of I Can Sing,
with Ovation nominee Gina D’Acciaro channeling Ethel Merman.)
Songs for a New World
(Watch videos of the
The New World and
The Steam Train. That’s me at the piano, upstage right.)
Runway 69 (at
Place in New York)
pictures from a reading in LA where I was conducting, but you can’t see me)
Jesus, Booze and Kwanzaa
(Here’s the finale, Turkey Lurkey Time,
with me at the piano.
This show works best when you’ve had several drinks.)
Children of Eden
(Here’s a backstage photo from just before curtain.)
and here for
different views of me and the pit orchestra,
and read the review.)
Jesus Christ Superstar
Little Shop of Horrors
(read the review)
(read the review)
On The Town (read the review)
I also had the privilege of working on the Ovation-winning world premiere
Beauty Wakes as
Associate Musical Director,
assisting songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda. Brendan also won an
Ovation for Musical Direction and Val was nominated for Lead Actress in a Musical; the show got
seven other nominations too.
Some shows for which I’ve been pianist/keyboardist in Los Angeles include
Some of the roles I have played on stage include
Other favourite shows that I would like to work on include . . .
Beauty and the Beast
Phantom of the Opera
Show Boat, Gypsy, Guys & Dolls, Promises, Promises
Dreamgirls, Billy Elliot, City of Angels, Shrek, Side Show, Jekyll & Hyde
tick, tick . . . BOOM, Bat Boy, Fame (yeah, I know), Violet, [title of show],
Weird Romance, john and jen, Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)
King David, Abyssinia, Masada
Back to Faculty Listings
Return to Linguistics Dept. Homepage
Last updated: April 13, 2012