School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

Linguistic Theory

Linguistic Theory

Our research includes syntactic theory and comparative syntax, phonological theory, morphophonology and morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics, philosophy of language, philosophy of linguistics, and the architecture of the language faculty.

In terms of grammar, all human languages are variations on a theme. Our research aims to characterise this theme and to uncover the nature and limits of the variation. Within the field of syntax, we work on syntactic theory, particularly within a generative framework, and comparative/descriptive syntax.

Our research on phonological theory and morphophonology centres particularly on suprasegmental phonological structures, such as the syllable, foot, and phonological word, also from a generative perspective. We focus on the phonological characteristics of these structures in their own right, as well as investigating how they behave with respect to word formation.

Members of this subgroup also research the origins and architecture of the language faculty and its place in human cognition. We are additionally interested in language interfaces, working on the phonology-syntax interface, especially as this bears on the status and nature of functional categories and linguistic parameters, and the syntax-semantics and semantics-pragmatics interfaces.