Publications

In Press
Tsai E, Scontras G, Mai K, Polinsky M.

Prohibiting Inverse Scope: An Experimental Study of Chinese vs: English

. CSSP: Colloque du syntaxe et semantique. In Press. cssp.master.0220.pdf
Clemens LE, Polinsky M. Verb-initial word orders (primarily in Austronesian and Mayan languages). In: The Blackwell Companion to Syntax, 2 edition. ; In Press.Abstract
This chapter presents several approaches to the syntax of verb-initial (V1) languages with a special emphasis on Mayan and Austronesian languages. Some V1 languages are strictly VSO, others are VOS, and a significant number combine both orders. This chapter focuses on data from VSO/VOS languages and the factors that underlie these alternations. A number of V1 languages can be more adequately characterized as predicate-initial, with V1 being just a subset of clause-initial predicates. The chapter presents a number of structural properties that are or may be associated with V1 and discusses possible implicational relations between such properties and V1. While there are certain common characteristics observed across V1 languages, it is also clear that there are several distinct subtypes of V1. These subtypes call for different syntactic analyses; main approaches include the derivation of V1 via phrasal movement (VP-raising) and its derivation via head-movement (verb-raising). Other syntactic approaches to the derivation of V1 include the parametrization of specifier direction within a single language, non-configurational syntax, and subject lowering. In addition to these purely syntactic analyses, several recent approaches place the derivation of V1 outside syntax or at the syntax-PF interface. Careful, in-depth analyses of individual languages are required to test the different approaches to V1; in quite a few cases such analyses are still lacking.
v1_syncom.pdf
Polinsky M. Syntactic ergativity. In: The Blackwell Companion to Syntax, 2 edition. ; In Press. syncom_serevised.jan_14.pdf
Scontras G, Tsai E, Mai K, Polinsky M. Revisiting inverse scope: an experimental study of Chinese and English. Sinn un Bedeutung 18. In Press. chinese_scope_sub.pdf
Polinsky M, Preminger O. Case and grammatical relations. In: Routledge Handbook of Syntax. ; In Press. polpre.revised.072713.pdf
Fukuda S, Polinsky M. Licensing of Floating Nominal Modifiers and Unaccusativity in Japanese. WCCFL-31. In Press;31. wccfl_31_proceedings_final_draft_fukuda_polinsky.pdf
Clemens LE, Coon J, Mateo Pedro P, Morgan AM, Polinsky M, Tandet G, Wagers M. Ergativity and the complexity of extraction: A view from Mayan. In Press. complete_draft.final_.082113.pdf
Polinsky M, Potsdam E. Left edge topics in Russian and the processing of anaphoric dependencies. In Press. 07312013_polinsky_and_potsdam.pdf
2014
Fuchs Z, Polinsky M, G.Scontras.

The Differential Representation of Number and Gender in Spanish

. In: GLOW 37. Brussels; 2014. glow37.pdf
Polinsky M, Radkevich N. Biabsolutives in Archi. In: LSA 88. Minneapolis, MN; 2014. lsa_handout.latest.pdf
Polinsky M. When L1 becomes an L3: Assessing grammatical knowledge in heritage speakers/learners. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. 2014. offprint.pdf
2013
Benmamoun E, Montrul S, Polinsky M. Heritage languages and their speakers: Opportunities and challenges for linguistics. Theoretical Linguistics. 2013;39:129-181.Abstract
In this paper, we bring to the attention of the linguistic community recent research on heritage languages. Shifting linguistic attention from the model of a monolingual speaker to the model of a multilingual speaker is important for the advancement of our understanding of the language faculty. Native speaker competence is typically the result of normal first language acquisition in an environment where the native language is dominant in various contexts, and learners have extensive and continuous exposure to it and opportunities to use it. Heritage speakers present a different case: they are bilingual speakers of an ethnic or immigrant minority language, whose first language often does not reach native-like attainment in adulthood. We propose a set of connections between heritage language studies and theory construction, underscoring the potential that this population offers for linguistic research. We examine several important grammatical phenomena from the standpoint of their representation in heritage languages, including case, aspect, and other interface phenomena. We discuss how the questions raised by data from heritage speakers could fruitfully shed light on current debates about how language works and how it is acquired under different conditions. We end with a consideration of the potential competing factors that shape a heritage language system in adulthood.
01-0009.corrected.pdf
Benmamoun E, Montrul S, Polinsky M. Defining an "ideal" heritage speaker (Reply to peer commentaries in TL). Theoretical Linguistics. 2013;39(3-4):259-294. reply_to_peer_commentaries_final_version_09.11.13-1.pdf
Gagliardi A, Goncalves M, Polinsky M, Radkevich N. Biabsolutive construction in Lak and Tsez. 2013. draft_august_15.pdf
Dubinina I, Polinsky M. Русскоговорящие американцы: лингвистические портреты. American Russian: Linguistic Profiles. In: Language in a global context. Язык в глобальном контексте. Moscow: INION; 2013. pp. 95-123. inion_article_mp.id_aug_12.12.pdf
Kwon N, Kluender R, Kutas M, Polinsky M. Subject/object processing asymmetries in Korean relative clauses: Evidence from ERP data. Language. 2013;89:537-585. 89.3.kwon_.pdf
Orfitelli R, Polinsky M. Is it all processing all the way down? Commentary on the paper by William O’Grady “The illusion of language acquisition”. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. 2013. orfitelli.polinsky.-lab.pdf
Laleko O, Polinsky M. Marking topic or marking case: A comparative investigation of Heritage Japanese and Heritage Korean. Heritage Language Journal. 2013;10(2). lalekopol.pdf
Polinsky M, Clemens LE, Morgan AM, Xiang M, Heestand D. Resumption in English. In: Experimental syntax and Island effects, ed. Jon Sprouse. Cambridge University Press; 2013. pp. 341-360. sprouse_paper_latest.062412.pdf