Publications & Research

Profile on ResearchGate (

All links provided are to pre-publication author versions for which the author has copyright;  these are provided as a service to the public who have funded the research via public taxes; if you wish to cite a paper, please cite the final published articles as they appear in the respective journals, books, etc. 

A selection of unpublished work and current drafts. 

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  • De Vos, M. Submitted. An unexpected Asymmetry between "because" and "for" causal adjuncts. [Manuscript on Request]
  • De Vos, M. Submitted. The blind leading the blind: reimagining peer assessment for transformative learning. [Manuscript on Request]
  • Ma, X and De Vos, M. Submitted. Ellipsis EPP Hypothesis: How ellipsis is derived syntactically: A comparative study of ellipsis in vP in Mandarin and Xhosa
  • Mitchley, H. and De Vos, M. Unpublished. Animacy effects as a speaker strategy to determine agreement with group nouns. [Manuscript on Request]

Published papers and book chapters


  • De Vos, Mark and Riedel, Kristina (2023) "Decolonising and transforming curricula for teaching linguistics and language in South Africa: Taking stock and charting the way forward" in Transformation in Higher Education (8) pp1-12.
  • Savic, Stefan and De Vos, Mark (2023) "Tense and Aspect of isiXhosa: Recent Past forms with and without the Auxiliary verb `be'". In Kaji, Shigeki (ed.) "Proceedings of the 8th World Congress of African Linguistics".  Research Institute for Languages and cultures of Asia and Africa (ILCAA), Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. Tokyo. ISBN 978-4-86337-233-7.


  • Bowles, T. and De Vos, M. (2022). Creating an Epistemically Diverse Undergraduate Linguistics Curriculum. Educational Research for Social Change, 11 (2), 57-75.  
  • Nevins, A., De Vos, M., Willer-Gold, J. and Peti-Stantic, A. (ed.) (2022) Angles of Object Agreement. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780192897749. 



  •  Mesthrie, R., De Vos, M., Hunt, S. and Motinyane, M. "Language studies in times of transformation: multiple perspectives" in  Mesthrie, R. and Bradley, D. (Eds). The Dynamics of Language: Plenary and focus lectures from the 20th International Congress of Linguists.  UCT Press: Cape Town. pp280--297.
  • De Vos, M. 2018. "Indigenous Literacy in South Africa: an Argument for Psycholinguistically Responsive Teaching" pp186--202 in Coppélie Cocq and Kirk P.H. Sullivan eds. Perspectives on Indigenous Writing and Literacies, Studies in Writing Volume 37. Brill: Leiden/Boston.

  • Kristina Riedel & Mark de Vos (Eds). 2018. Southern African Microlinguistics Workshop 5. Stellenbosch papers in Linguistics Plus 54(1) 2018.



  • Tracy Probert and Mark de Vos. 2016 Word recognition strategies amongst isiXhosa/English bilingual learners: The interaction of orthography and language of learning and teaching Reading & Writing; Vol 7, No 1 (2016). doi: 10.4102/rw.v7i1.84


  • De Vos, M. 2015. Outlining the parameters for a linguistic nativist position.  SPIL PLUS 48.  pp17--40 (Available online at
  • Diemer, M, and Van der Merwe, K. and De Vos, M. (2015). The development of phonological awareness literacy measures for isiXhosa. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 33(3):325--341.

  • Lauriks, S., Siebörger, I. and De Vos, M. `"Ha! Relationships? I only shout at them!” Strategic management of discordant rapport in an African small business context.' Journal of Politeness Research 2015; 11(1): 7–39.


  • De Vos, M., Van der Merwe, K. and Van der Mescht, C. (2014) "A Research Programme for Reading in African Languages to underpin CAPS."  Journal for Language Teaching. 48(2) pp143--171  (De Vos, Van der Merwe, Van der Mescht 2015. CAPS article)
  • De Vos, M. (2014) "The Spec-Head vs Head-Spec asymmetry: post-syntactic linearization and the embedded-topicalization paradox". Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics 43 pp81--117. DOI: (Available from the SPIL website:

  • De Vos, M. (2014) "Head movement is an artefact of optimal solutions to linearisation paradoxes".  SPIL Plus (44):23--48. (DOI:
  • De Vos, M. (2014) "The evolutionary origins of syntax: optimization of the mental lexicon yields syntax for free".  Lingua (150): 25--44.  (DOI: DOI: 10.1016/j.lingua.2014.07.005) (Free download from Lingua until 12 October 2014:
  • De Vos, M. (2014). "Atomic Homogeneity: a semantic strategy for the determination of plurality in the complex noun phrases of South African English".  SALALS 32(1) pp1--19.  (DOI: If you cannot access a copy contact me and I will give you a free download link from the publishers)


  • De Vos, M. 2013.  Homogeneity in subject-verb concord in South African English.   Language Matters 44(1):pp58-77. (DOI: 10.1080/10228195.2012.744081 If you cannot access a copy contact me and I will give you a free download link from the publishers)
  • De Vos, M. "Afrikaans Mixed Adposition Orders as a PF-Linearization Effect" in Biberauer, T. and Sheehan, M (Eds).  Theoretical Approaches to Disharmonic Word Orders. Oxford University Press: Oxford.  pp333--358. (Based on a conference presentation at the Theoretical Approaches to Disharmonic Word Orders Conference, Newcastle University, May 30th-June 1st 2009. [Draft version of the paper pre-review De Vos 2009 Afrikaans Adpositions] )


  • De Vos, M. & Mitchley, H. 2012. Subject marking and preverbal coordination in Sesotho: A perspective from Optimality Theory.  Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 30 pp155-170. (DOI: DOI: 10.2989/16073614.2012.737591 If you cannot access a copy contact me and I will give you a free download link from the publishers)
  • De Vos, M. 2012 Heads and specifiers: on spec-head word orders in English.  In Zwart, J-W (Ed), Groninger Arbeiten zur germanistischen Linguistik, pp 53--78.



  • De Vos M. 2009. Comparing Afrikaans morpho-syntactic variation in a South African underdeveloped context. Journal of Macrolinguistics 3 pp 25--45. [Version before reviewers' comments DeVos 2009- comparing Afr Variation] Originally presented as The impact of economic development on Rural Afrikaans Dialects in Kai !Garib at KCTOS 2008 (Knowledge, Creativity and Transformations of Societies). 6--9 December, Vienna, Austria.
  • De Vos, M. 2009. An argument for VP coordination: Scene-setting coordination and weak islands. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 27(1): 1--23.[Abstract DeVos 2009 VP coordination]


  • De Vos, M. 2008. Deriving Narrow Syntax through constraints on information structure: a parallel between linguistic models of displacement and database theory. Lingua 118 (2008) 1864–1899. [Accepted Authors Manuscript version Devos-Vicente-wccfl proceedings cornr--prefinal.pdf ] [DOI:].
  • De Vos, M. 2008. Review of: Roland Hinterhölzl,Scrambling, remnant movement, and restructuring in West Germanic. Journal of Linguistics, 44, pp243-247.


  • De Vos, M. 2007. Towards a definition of SUBJECT in binding domains and subject-oriented anaphora. Stellenbosch Papers in Linguistics, 37, pp23--65. [Pre-editorial version De Vos 2007 SPIL]
  • De Vos, M. 2007. And as an aspectual connective in the event structure of pseudo-coordinative constructions. In Connectives as Discourse Landmarks, Celle, Agnes and Ruth Huart (eds.), 49--70. Based on the talk, Connectives in verbal reduplication, pseudo coordination and the aspectual system, presented at the International Conference on English Linguistics in Paris, France (26--28 May 2005). [Draft pre-editorial De Vos 2007 Connectives Pre-Editorial].
  • De Vos, M. 2007. Events: A Study in the Semantics of Lexical Aspect, Rothstein Susan. In Lingua (117) 1490--1496.

2006 and before

  • De Vos, M. and Vicente, L. Coordination under RNR (CoRNR): at the intersection of Syntax and PF pp97-104. in Proceedings of the 24th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics. John Alderete, Chung-hye Han, and Alexei Kochetov (Eds). Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA, USA.[ De Vos and Vicente CoRNR, Presented at the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 24, 18-20 March 2005. Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
  • De Vos, M. Quirky verb-second in Afrikaans: complex predicates and head movement. In Hartmann, J.M. and Molnarfi, L. (2006) Comparative Studies in Germanic Syntax: From A(frikaans) to Z(urich German), pp89--114. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Presented at the Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop 20 in Tilburg, The Netherlands (9--11 June 2005). [Draft pre-editorial De Vos 2006 CGSW Draft].
  • De Vos, M. Notes on Noun Morphology and Clefting Constructions in Kotoko. In Schmidt, B., Odden, D. & Holmberg, A. 2002. Some aspects of the grammar of Zina Kotoko, Lincom, pp58--71.
  • De Vos, M. Pseudo co-ordination is not subordination. In Cornips, L. & Doetjes, J. (Eds). 2004. Linguistics in the Netherlands 2004, John Benjamins, Amsterdam,pp181--192.
  • De Vos, M. Past Participles in Afrikaans Dialects and Dutch. In Harding, G. & Tsujimura, M. (Eds), 2003, Proceedings of the 22nd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, pp519-532, Cascadilla Press, Somerville, MA.
  • De Vos, M. Dutch and Afrikaans inseparable prefixes. In Markopoulos, T., Salamoura, A., Skoufaki, S., & Hall, D. (Eds), 2003 Proceedings of the First Postgraduate Conference on Language Research. pp105-111, Cambridge, UK.
  • De Vos, M. Verbal compounding and complex initials. In Austin, D., Chondrogianni, V., Daskalaki, E., Katsos, N., Mavrogiorgos, M., Newton, G., Orfanidou, E., Reeve, M.J. & Srioutai, J. (Eds). Proceedings of the Second Postgraduate Conference on Language Research 2004, Cambridge UK.

Edited Volumes

Dissertations and books

  • De Vos, M. The syntax of pseudo-coordination in English and Afrikaans. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Leiden Centre for Linguistics. Published by Igitur Publishing, Utrecht The Netherlands.[ De Vos 2005 Dissertation Complete Text] [Link to off site download page].
  • De Vos, M. 2001. Afrikaans verb clusters: A functional-head analysis. Master's thesis, University of Tromsø, Norway.

Invited talks

  • De Vos, M. 2008. Progress Report: Comparing syntactic variation in a South African underdeveloped context.Presented at the Workshop European Dialect Syntax III. Venice 18-21 September 2008.
  • De Vos, M. 2018.  Panel discussion at CIPL20. Language studies in times of transformation: Multiple perspectives. Cape Town 2--6 July 2018.

Group Research

This category is for research conducted in group research projects and for to which I did not contribute a substantial amount of work.

  • V. de Klerk, R. Adendorff, M. de Vos, S. Hunt, T. Niesler, S.R. Simango and L. Todd. (2006) Educated mother-tongue South African English: a corpus approach. Language Matters 37(2) pp. 206 --226
  • V. de Klerk, R. Adendorff, M. de Vos, S. Hunt, T. Niesler, S.R. Simango and L. Todd.(2006) Educated mother-tongue South African English: a corpus approach ICAME Conference, Helsinki, Finland, May 2006. (Presented by Prof. V. de Klerk).


Last Modified: Wed, 19 Jul 2023 15:08:09 SAST