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Rhodes > English Language and Linguistics > Research > Syntactic analysis of language

Syntactic analysis of language

All human languages utilize structures which underpin the words that we hear and see. A major research enteprise has been to identify which structures and systems are common to all languages and which are language-specific.  In particular, given our unique location, we focus particularly on comparative studies of indigenous African languages with other languages such as Mandarin, English, etc.  Our students have engaged in a variety of research topics including ellipsis, agreement and linearization phenomena and well as general theoretical syntax.  The frameworks we use include Minimalism, Government & Binding, Optimality Theory, etc.

For more information on research prospects in syntax at RU, contact Mark de Vos.

Selected publications:
Riedel, K. and De Vos, M. 2017. "Swahili coordinated infinitives and non-canonical case marking".  Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 38(2): 265-288. https://doi.org/10.1515/jall-2017-0012.

Ma, X. 2017. "Ellipsis in the vP domain in Mandarin and Xhosa". PhD thesis. Rhodes University. http://hdl.handle.net/10962/43105.

Mitchley, H. 2016. "Agreement and coordination in XiTsonga, SeSotho and IsiXhosa: an optimality theoretic perspective". Master's Thesis, Rhodes University. http://hdl.handle.net/10962/3423.

De Vos, M. 2014. "Head movement is an artefact of optimal solutions to linearisation paradoxes".  SPILPlus (44):23-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.5842/44-0-640.

Last Modified: Thu, 18 Jan 2018 19:58:59 SAST