School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Staff Profile

Professor Anders Holmberg

Professor in Theoretical Linguistics


Research Interests

Syntactic theory; comparative syntax; Scandinavian languages; Finnish.

Other Expertise

Descriptive linguistics/linguistic fieldwork; language acquisition; language change.

Current Work

Rethinking comparative syntax: 

Syntax and linear order.

The syntax of questions and answers

Symmetry and asymmetry in the double object construction


Publications by Prof. JA Holmberg

Newcastle University ePrint repository for Prof. JA Holmberg.


Research Roles

Director of Research on Rethinking Comparative Syntax (ReCoS), U. of Cambridge (2013-2017) 

Leverhulme Fellowship (2011-2013). Project: The syntax of yes and no

Editor of Finno-Ugric Languages and Linguistics (FULL) 

Principal Investigator of the AHRC-funded project 'Structure and linear order in disharmonic word orders' (2007-2011)

Postgraduate Supervision

PhD students:

Murdhy Alshamari: Topic particles in North Hail Arabic

Marwan Jarrah: A-bar movement in Jordanian Arabic

Rebwar Tahir: The structure of DP in Central Kurdish

Qi Wang: Morphology of Xining Chinese

Raed Al-Janabi: Ditransitives in Iraqi Arabic and English 



  • European Research Council Advanced Grant 'Rethinking Comparative Syntax' (PI Ian Roberts, U. of Cambridge) (2013-2017).
  • Leverhulme Fellowship (2011-2013). Project: On the syntax of yes and no.

  • Project funded by the AHRC, from Oct 2007 to Sept 2010: 'Structure and linearization in disharmonic word orders'. Joint project with Cambridge, with Ian Roberts as co-investigator, Theresa Biberauer and Michelle Sheehan as Researchers. 

  • Leverhulme Visiting Professorship for Abdelkader Fassi Fehri to spend 10 months in Newcastle in 2007-2008.
  • Project funded by the AHRC (2002-2007): 'Null subjects and the structure of parametric theory.' Joint project with Newcastle and Cambridge.