The study of syntax represents the investigation of the structure of sentences, the mechanisms that create this structure, and the relations that apply over elements within this structure. The syntax group at McGill uses a variety of methods to investigate syntactic phenomena, with a focus on formal systems of sentence formation, and how they can explain variation across languages. We study a wide range of languages from different families, with a focus on investigating the syntax of under-documented and Indigenous languages.
At McGill, we have particular strengths in work at the syntactic interfaces. At the phonology interface, we explore the role of syntax in word formation and morphological theory, as well as on the use of prosody as a window onto the nature of syntactic and semantic structures, and how they are processed. At the semantics interface, we explore how the structure of a sentence is mapped to its meaning, with the goal of arriving at representations that conform to both syntactic and semantic principles.
Language Documentation & Revitalization