Publications

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

Prohibiting inverse scope

. Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics (CSSP). In Press;10.Abstract
QuantiVer scope is an interface phenomenon that raises importantquestions concerning the processing of not only monolingual but alsobilingual speakers. In this paper, we build upon the Vndings by Scontraset al. (to appear) by investigating and comparing the scope interpretationsavailable for doubly quantiVed sentences such as Everyshark attacked a pirate not only in Mandarin Chinese and English, butcrucially in heritage Mandarin. Our results reinforce that (i) Mandarindoes not exhibit inverse scope; and (ii) English exhibits inverse scopeeven when a quantiVer is embedded in a relative clause, thus supportingthe head-raising analysis of relativization (Vergnaud 1974, Kayne1994). They also prove that (iii) heritage Mandarin does not demonstrateinverse scope, which conforms to the Processing Scope Economyprinciple (Anderson 2004).
cssp.master.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
Forthcoming
Polinsky M, Potsdam E.

Austronesian syntax

. In Oceania Berlin: Mouton; Forthcoming. a_syntactic_overview_of_austronesian_languages.010213.pdf
2014
Polinsky M, Radkevich N. Biabsolutives in Archi, in LSA 88. Minneapolis, MN; 2014. lsa_handout.latest.pdf
Fuchs Z, Polinsky M, G.Scontras.

The Differential Representation of Number and Gender in Spanish

, in GLOW 37. Brussels; 2014. glow37.pdf
Gagliardi A, Goncalves M, Polinsky M, Radkevich N.

Biabsolutives in Lak and Tsez

. Lingua [Internet]. 2014;150:137-170. Publisher's Version lingua_paper.pdf
Boon E, Polinsky M.

From silence to voice: Empowering heritage language speakers in the 21 century

. Informes del Observatorio / Observatorio’s Report. 2014;(2). 002_informes_mp_from-silence.corrected.pdf
Polinsky M, Preminger O.

Case and grammatical relations

. In Routledge Handbook of Syntax ; 2014. polpre.revised.072713.pdf
Polinsky M. When L1 becomes an L3: Assessing grammatical knowledge in heritage speakers/learners. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. 2014. offprint.pdf
Fukuda S, Polinsky M.

Licensing of Floating Nominal Modifiers and Unaccusativity in Japanese

. WCCFL-31 [Internet]. 2014;31. Publisher's Version 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

. 2014. complete_draft.final_.082113.pdf
Polinsky M, Potsdam E.

Left edge topics in Russian and the processing of anaphoric dependencies

. Journal of Linguistics [Internet]. 2014. Publisher's Version 07312013_polinsky_and_potsdam.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
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