Research Projects

The Syntax of Nominal Linkers

This is a five-year SSHRC-funded project whose goal is to investigate the syntax of nominal linkers across languages. A well-known example of such linkers is the Persian Ezafe, which links the noun with its modifiers in an iterative manner: N-Ez Mod1-Ez Mod2-Ez. Starting with the better-studied Persian case known as the Ezafe, in its first stage, the project takes on a systematic comparative investigation of several Iranian languages to establish the properties nominal linkers in each of these languages possess. With the backdrop of the microvariationist study of nominal linkers in Iranian languages, in the second stage of the project, the investigation will be extended to a macro-level by exploring a number of non-Iranian languages, including those for which the existence of nominal linkers has already been noted as well as new ones. The project has three goals: first, to build the first cross-linguistic database of linkers spanning broad areal and genetic classifications; second, to provide a cross-classification of nominal linkers based on a detailed study of their properties in these languages; third, to enhance our understanding of the syntax of linkers and thereby facilitate a deeper understanding of the structure of noun phrases and the architecture of grammar.


Marcel den Dikken, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Monica Irimia, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia
Diane Massam, University of Toronto
Ur Shlonsky, Université de Genève

Copular Agreement Systems — Locality and Domains

This is a five-year SSHRC-funded project whose goal is to investigate the various aspects of the syntax of binominal copular clauses in a wide range of languages, with a focus on their agreement patterns. We are building a database which will be ultimately shared online.


Susana Bejar, University of Toronto (PI)
Ivona Kucerova, McMaster University


David Adger, Queen Mary University of London
Daniel Harbour, Queen Mary University of London
Martina Wiltschko, University of British Columbia