22 March 2015

Introducing Tim Hunter: Syntax Guru

Tim Hunter arrives Monday to take up residence as this year’s syntax guru. Tim received his PhD in 2010 from the University of Maryland, and held post-doctorates at Cornell and Yale before taking up his present post at the University of Minnesota. His dissertation, published by John Benjamins in 2011, explores a way of breaking down the movement and merge operations into more fundamental operations, and uses this to model how movement and structure building operations interact. He meshes this syntax with a neo-Davidsonian semantics to characterize the “argument/adjunct” distinction that syntacticians often use. He has worked on a variety of the classic problems in movement theory: rightward movement, parasitic gaps, relative clauses, remnant movement and the constraints on these constructions. He has also done work on the semantics of certain quantifiers, and their connection with other cognitive systems, as well as the acquisition of determiners by four-to-five year olds. He’s also done work on the formal aspects of minimalist grammars. Some of his work has made direct connections between the form of minimalist grammars and on-line processing. You can get (much) more information from his webpage.

Tim will be in Peggy Speas’s office (N402) during his stay, which ends April 17. You can reach him at timh@umm.edu. His stay is short: be sure to get guru’d early!