Brief professional biography:
I received an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton (1962) and a Ph.D. in linguistics from MIT (1965). After teaching four years at Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, I came to Ohio State in 1969, was named a Distinguished University Professor in 1989, and retired in 1995. Since 1985 I have been a visiting (then consulting, and now adjunct) professor at Stanford, and from September 1998 on I am based at Stanford.
I have been active in the Linguistic Society of America (and was its president in 1992) and have taught or worked on research projects at many of the Linguistic Institutes of the LSA, from 1968 through 2007; I held the Sapir Professorship at the 1999 Institute, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
I am a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 1992); of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected 1998); and of the Association for Psychological Science (elected 2007). I’ve held one-year fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Humanities Center, and shorter appointments at Edinburgh, Sussex, and the Beijing Language Institute.
Adjunct Professor, Linguistics
PhD, MIT, Linguistics (1965)
AB, Princeton University, Mathematics (1962)
Current Research and Scholarly Interests
Current research program:
I’m investigating the interrelationships of syntax, morphology, and phonology, focusing especially on apparent counterexamples to the Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax and the Principle of Morphology-Free Syntax, as well as phenomena (like clitics) that appear to fall within more than one component of grammar.
I’m also doing research on the conceptual foundations of morphology, as well as developing a construction-based framework for syntax and a “realizational” framework for morphology.
More recently (well, since around 1980), I’ve been investigating syntactic variation, paying attention to small details that mostly don’t map easily to large-scale social distinctions like region, sex, class, ethnicity, and so on. As an offshoot of this research, I’ve also become interested in the “advice literature” on English syntax, and more generally, on material about usage and prescriptivism; and I’ve returned to earlier interests in style and in mistakes in language.
In addition, for some years I’ve done research and writing on language, gender, and sexuality.
- The sociolinguistics of a short-lived innovation: Tracing the development of quotative all across spoken and internet newsgroup data LANGUAGE VARIATION AND CHANGE 2010; 22 (2): 191-219
- Intensive and quotative all: Something old, something new AMERICAN SPEECH 2007; 82 (1): 3-31
The Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax: Four apparent counterexamples in French
JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS
1997; 33 (1): 67-90
View details for Web of Science ID A1997WW10000003
SUPPRESSING THE ZS
JOURNAL OF LINGUISTICS
1987; 23 (1): 133-148
View details for Web of Science ID A1987H190400006
A NON-TEST FOR AMBIGUITY
CANADIAN JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHY
1987; 17 (1): 185-187
View details for Web of Science ID A1987H274000013
UNACCEPTABLY ACCENTED AUXILIARIES
1987; 25 (3): 501-509
View details for Web of Science ID A1987J146300003
SLASHES IN THE PASSIVE
1987; 25 (4): 639-669
View details for Web of Science ID A1987K308800001
A NOTE ON XY-LANGUAGES
LINGUISTICS AND PHILOSOPHY
1985; 8 (2): 229-236
View details for Web of Science ID A1985AFT8200003
PHONOLOGY IN SYNTAX - THE SOMALI OPTIONAL AGREEMENT RULE
NATURAL LANGUAGE & LINGUISTIC THEORY
1983; 1 (3): 385-402
View details for Web of Science ID A1983RU54400003
DELETING NAMED MORPHEMES
1983; 59 (2-3): 155-175
View details for Web of Science ID A1983QL89700002