Accessibility statement

Susan Pintzuk
Emeritus Professor



My field of research is diachronic syntax, in particular syntactic variation and change in the history of English.


2005 - Professor University of York
2001 - 2005 Senior Lecturer University of York
1996 - 2001 Lecturer University of York
1991 PhD, Department of Linguistics University of Pennsylvania
1980 BA, Department of Mathematics New York University

Departmental roles

  • Senior Researcher



My research combines formal syntactic analysis, statistical methodology and techniques of corpus linguistics, and applies quantitative methods to the structural analysis of historical data. I have participated in the creation of four annotated corpora of historical English texts, and continue to exploit these corpora in my own research. My current project (with Ann Taylor) investigates the effect of information structure on the position of objects in Old and Middle English, and the role of information structure in the change from object-verb to verb-object order in the history of English.

Research group(s)


  • National Endowment for the Humanities (USA)
    • The Brooklyn-Geneva-Amsterdam-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English (1994-1997), with E. Haeberli, A. van Kemenade, W. Koopman, and F. Beths.
  • Economic and Social Research Council
    • The Syntax of Old English Poetry (1998-2000).
  • Arts and Humanities Research Board
    • The York-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Prose (2000-2002), PI A. Warner, with A. Taylor.
    • The Parsed Corpus of Early English Correspondence (2003-2005), PI A. Warner, with A. Taylor.
  • Research Priming Fund (University of York)
    • A feasibility study of linking Latin texts with their Old English translations (2004), with A. Taylor.
    • A pilot study of topicalisation in Old English (2005), with E. Traugott.
    • Coding information structure in Old English (2009-2010), with A. Taylor.


  • Eric Haeberli, Professeur adjoint, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Geneva
  • Ann Taylor, Senior Lecturer, Department of Linguistics, University of York
  • Elizabeth Traugott, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and English, Stanford University

External activities

Editorial duties

  • Member of Editorial Board, Lingua
  • Member of Editorial Board, Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics
  • Member of Editorial Board, English Language and Linguistics

Invited talks and conferences

  • 12th Diachronic Generative Syntax Conference, University of Cambridge, July 2010, Plenary lecture (with A. Taylor): VO order, clause type and information status in Old English
  • Linguistic Society of American Annual Meeting, Workshop: Towards a linguistically-motivated annotation scheme for information status, Baltimore, Maryland, January 2010. Invited paper (with A. Taylor): Investigating information structure in Old English
  • 7th Diachronic Generative Syntax Conference, University of Girona, Spain, June 2002, Plenary lecture: The syntax of objects in Old English
  • Eighth Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference, Indiana University, USA, April 2002, Plenary lecture: The syntax of Old English poetry: the position of heads in noun phrases and prepositional phrases
  • Leverhulme SOAS/KCL Workshop on Structural Typology and Syntactic Change, London, January 2001, Invited paper: Deriving object-verb order in Old English
  • 6th Diachronic Generative Syntax Conference, University of Maryland, USA, May 2000, Plenary lecture: Verb-complement order in Old English: variation as grammatical competition
  • Workshop on VO and OV, University of Tromsø, Norway, May 1998, Invited paper: Verb Complement Word Order in Old English
  • Fourth Workshop on Corpus Compilation, Tagging and Exploitation, Barcelona, Spain, May 1996, Invited paper: Annotating the Helsinki Corpus: Design and Implementation; The Brooklyn-Geneva-Amsterdam-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English
  • 9th International Conference on English Historical Linguistics, University of Poznan, Poland, August 1996, Plenary lecture: Grammatical Competition in the History of English
Susan Pintzuk

Contact details

Susan Pintzuk
Emeritus Professor
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Vanbrugh College C Block, Room V/C/119
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: (0)1904 323203