Syntax and semantics

Overview

Overview

The syntax and semantics research group pursues research in the formal, generative tradition in syntax and semantics and their interfaces with other areas of the grammar such as pragmatics, discourse structure, phonology and morphology.  We also work on the acquisition of syntax and semantics as well as syntactic variation and change.

In our work we aim to combine the theoretical coherence, creativity, and formal rigour that are the hallmarks of work within the generative paradigm, with the attention to empirical detail to be found in the best philological work.

Languages we have worked on include Akan, Arabic, Basque, Chinese, English (including Early as well as Modern English), French, German, Greek, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Yiddish, and others.

Projects

Projects

  • Comparative Syntax and Semantics (Focusing on the syntax and semantics of quantification, scope, and polarity.)
  • The grammar of ellipsis
  • Plurality and Distributivity
  • The syntax of questions
  • The Syntax - Pragmatics Interface
  • Functional structure and locality
  • Syntactic Change

Corpora

  • The York Corpus of Child French, which consists of data from three young French-speaking children from different areas of the French speaking world, Canada, Belgium and France.
  • The York-Toronto-Helsinki Corpus of Old English Prose, a parsed and tagged electronic corpus of 1.5 million words of prose drawn from the earliest period of the English language.
  • The York-Helsinki Parsed Corpus of Old English Poetry, a parsed and tagged electronic corpus of 71,490 words of Old English poetic text.
  • The Parsed Corpus of Early English Correspondence, a parsed and tagged electronic corpus of 2.2 million words drawn from Early Modern English letters.