Research

 

My main research interests are in syntactic theory. I have done work within a number of theoretical frameworks, most notably Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Principles and Parameters theory, and I have made some significant contributions to the former. Much of my work has been concerned with English, but I have also worked extensively on Welsh, and I have written a number of papers on Polish and Breton. In the late 1980s, I did some work on computational grammars as a visiting scientist at the IBM UK Scientific Centre in Winchester. From 1990 to 1995, I was a member of a group working on complementation and subordination in the languages of Europe as part of the European Science Foundation’s Eurotyp Project. I also did some work on the acquisition of Welsh syntax in the late 90s with Bob Morris Jones of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

I have published eight books on syntax: Syntactic Theory: A Unified Approach (Edward Arnold, 1991, second edition 1999), The Syntax of the Celtic Languages: A Comparative Perspective edited with Ian Roberts of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge University Press, 1996), Modern Phrase Structure Grammar (Blackwell, 1996), Slavic in Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar edited with Adam Przepiórkowski of the University of Warsaw (CSLI, 1999), The Nature and Function of Syntactic Categories (Academic Press, 1999), Welsh Negation and Grammatical Theory with Bob Morris Jones (University of Wales Press, 2005), The Syntax of Welsh with Maggie Tallerman of the University of Newcastle and David Willis of the University of Cambridge (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Nontransformational Syntax: Formal and Explicit Models of Grammar with Kersti Börjars of the University of Manchester.

 

I have recently worked with Dunstan Brown of York, Grev Corbett and Marina Chumakina of Surrey, Louisa Sadler of Essex and Maria Polinsky of Harvard on an AHRC-financed project on agreement in the Daghestanian language Archi. I am also involved with David Willis and Maggie Tallerman in The Syntactic Atlas of Welsh Dialects, a project to establish the extent of variation in the syntax of present-day Welsh.

 

Publications since 2000

Borsley, R. D. (ed.), (2000), The Nature and Function of Syntactic Categories, New York: Academic Press.

Borsley, R. D. (2000), What is generative grammar?, in P. Bański and A. Przepiórkowski (eds.), GLIP-1: Proceedings of the First Generative Linguistics in Poland Conference, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw.

Borsley, R. D. and B. M. Jones (2000), The syntax of Welsh negation, Transactions of the Philological Society 98:1, 15-47.

Borsley, R.D. and A. Kathol (2000), Breton as a V2 language, Linguistics 38, 665-710.

Borsley, R. D. and J. Kornfilt (2000), Mixed extended projections, in R.D. Borsley (ed.), The Nature and Function of Syntactic Categories, New York: Academic Press, 101-131.

Borsley, R.D. (2001), What do prepositional complementizers do?, Probus 13, 155-171.

Borsley, R. D. and B. M. Jones (2001), Negation in colloquial Welsh, in R. Cann, C. Grover and P. Miller (eds.), Grammatical Interfaces, CSLI Publications, Stanford, 33-50.

Borsley, R. D. and B. M. Jones (2001), The development of finiteness in early Welsh, Journal of Celtic Language Learning 6, 9-20.

Borsley, R. D. (2002), Where is Welsh?, Planet 150, 92-95.

Borsley, R. D. and R. Ingham (2002), Grow your own linguistics? On some applied linguists’ views of the subject, Lingua 112, 1-6. 

Borsley, R. D. (2003). On the Polish periphery: comparative correlatives in Polish, in P. Bański and A. Przepiórkowski (eds.), GLIP-5: Proceedings of Fifth Generative Linguistics in Poland Conference, Polish Academy of Science, Warsaw.

Borsley, R.D. and R. Ingham (2003), More on ‘some applied linguists’: A response to Stubbs, Lingua 113, 193-196.

Borsley, R. D. (2004), An approach to English comparative correlatives, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 70-92.

Borsley, R. D. (2004), On the periphery: Comparative correlatives in Polish and English, in O. Arnaudova, W. Browne, M-L. Rivero and D. Stojanovic (eds.), Proceedings of Formal Approaches to Slavic Linguistics 12, 59-90.

Borsley, R. D. and B. M. Jones (2004), The distribution and interpretation of Welsh n-words, in O. Bonami and P. Cabredo Hofherr (eds.), Empirical issues in Syntax and Semantics 5,  7-25.

Borsley, R. D. (2005), Against ConjP, Lingua 115, 461-482.

Borsley, R. D. (2005), Les coordinations relevant-elles de la syntaxe X-barre?, Langages 160, 25-41.

Borsley, R. D. (2005), Introduction, in Data in Theoretical Linguistics, Lingua 115, 1475-80.

Borsley, R. D. and B. M. Jones (2005), Welsh Negation and Grammatical Theory, Cardiff: University of Wales Press.

Borsley, R. D. (2006), On the nature of Welsh VSO clauses, Lingua 116, 462-490.

Borsley, R. D. (2006), Syntactic and lexical approaches to unbounded dependences, Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 49, 31-57.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2006), A linear approach to negative prominence, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG06 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 60-80.

 

Abeillé A., R. D. Borsley and M-T. Espinal (2006), The syntax of comparative correlatives in French and Spanish, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG06 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 6-26.

 

Abeillé A. and R. D. Borsley (2006), La syntaxe des corrélatives comparatives en anglais et en français, Faits de langue 28. 21-33.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2007), Hang on again! Are we on the right track?, in A. Radford (ed.), Martin Atkinson: The Minimalist Muse, Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 53, .43-69.

 

Borsley, R. D., M. Tallerman and D. Willis (2007), The Syntax of Welsh, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

 

Borsley, R.D. (2008), On some Welsh unbounded dependency constructions, Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 57.4, 1-21

 

Abeillé, A. and R. D. Borsley (2008), Comparative correlatives and parameters, Lingua 118, 1139-1157.

 

Arnold D. and R. D. Borsley (2008), Non-restrictive relative clauses, ellipsis and anaphora, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG08 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 5-25.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2009), On the superficiality of Welsh agreement, Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 27, 225-265.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2009), On so-called transitive expletives in Belfast English, English Language and Linguistics 13, 409-431.

 

Borsley, R. D. and F. J. Newmeyer (2009), On subject-auxiliary inversion and the notion “purely formal generalization”, Cognitive Linguistics 20, 135–143.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2010), An HPSG approach to Welsh unbounded dependencies, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG10 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 47-67.

 

Arnold D. and R. D. Borsley (2010), Auxiliary-stranding relative clauses, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG10 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 80-100.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2011), Constructions, functional heads and comparative correlatives, in O. Bonami and P. Cabredo Hofherr (eds.), Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 8, 7-26.

 

Borsley, R. D. and K. Börjars (2011), Nontransformational Syntax: Formal and Explicit Models of Grammar, New York: Wiley.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2011), Apparent filler-gap mismatches in Welsh, Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 61.1, 1-26.

 

Borsley, R. D. and M. Krer (2012), An HPSG Approach to Negation in Libyan Arabic, Essex Research Reports in Linguistics 61.2, 1-24.

 

Alqurashi, A. and R. D. Borsley (2012), Arabic relative clauses in HPSG, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG12 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 26–44.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2012), Don’t move!, Iberia 4.1, 110-139.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2013), On the nature of Welsh unbounded dependencies, Lingua 133, 1-29.

 

Alotaibi, M. and R. D. Borsley (2013), Gaps and resumptive pronouns in Modern Standard Arabic, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG13 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 6–26.

 

Alqurashi, A. and R. D. Borsley (2014), The comparative correlative construction in Modern Standard Arabic, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG14 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 6–26.

 

Arnold, D. and R. D. Borsley (2014), On the analysis of English exhaustive conditionals, in S. Müller (ed.), Proceedings of the HPSG14 Conference, Stanford: CSLI Publications, 27–47.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2015), Apparent filler–gap mismatches in Welsh, Linguistics 53-995-1029.

 

Borsley, R. D. (2016), HPSG and the nature of agreement in Archi, in O. Bond, M. Chumakina, G. G. Corbett and D. Brown (eds.), Archi: Complexities of Agreement in Cross-Theoretical Perspective, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 118-149.

 

Bonami, O., R. D. Borsley, and M. O. Tallerman (2016), On pseudo-non-finite clauses in Welsh, Proceedings of the Joint 2016 Conference on Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar, 104-124.

 

Dr Syntax at Free Mason's Hall, by Thomas Rowlandson

 

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