Publications

2011
Caponigro I, Polinsky M. Relative embeddings: A Circassian puzzle for the syntax/semantics interface. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 2011. adyghe_nllt_revised_12_16_09_submitted.final_.pdf
Potsdam E, Polinsky M. In: Morphological and Syntactic Aspects of Oceanic Languages. ; 2011. COOL_paper.revised.pdf
2010
Polinsky M, Zhang B, Gallo CG. Eliciting heritage speakers' production. In: MIMS. Hamburg, Germany: Hamburg University; 2010. mims.presentation_oct_10.pdf
Polinsky M, Zhang B, Gallo CG. Heritage Chinese: A new view from production. In: Fourth Heritage Language Institute. Manoa, HI: Nat'l Heritage Language Resource Center; 2010. hl_4_chinese.pdf
Polinsky M. Russkij jazyk pervogo i vtorogo pokolenija emigrantov, zhivuschix v SShA. Slavica Helsingiensia. 2010;40:336-352. slavica_helsingiensia14.2010.pdf
Benmamoun E, Montrul S, Polinsky M. White Paper: Prolegomena to Heritage Linguistics. Harvard University. 2010.Abstract
Linguistic theory and experimental studies of language development rest heavily on the notion of the adult, perhaps linguistically stable, native speaker. Native speaker competence and performance are typically the result of normal first language acquisition in a predominantly monolingual environment, with optimal and continuous exposure to the language. The question we pose in this article is what happens when access to input and opportunities to use that native language are less than optimal during language development. We present and discuss the case of heritage speakers, i.e., bilingual speakers of an ethnic or immigrant minority language whose first language does not typically reach native-like attainment in adulthood. By examining the linguistic knowledge of these individuals, we question long-held ideas about the stability of language before the so-called critical period for language development, and the nature of the linguistic system as it develops under reduced input conditions. We present an overview of heritage speakers’ linguistic system and discuss several competing factors that shape this system in adulthood. We also call attention to the tremendous potential this population offers for linguistic research, the language teaching profession, and for society in general.
hl_white_paper_june_12.pdf
Polinsky M. Asymmetries in nominal and verbal morphology. In: Second Language Research Forum. Maryland; 2010. SLRF_2010_MP.pdf
Polinsky M. Why Bother with Heritage Speakers?. In: First International Conference on Heritage and Community Languages. UCLA; 2010. Website UCLA_Feb_2010.Polinsky_final_pres.pdf
Plaster K, Polinsky M. Features in categorization. In: Features. Perspectives on a Key Notion in Linguistics, eds. Anna Kibort and Greville G. Corbett . Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010. pp. 109-142. Website Features_chapter.pdf
Kwon N, Monahan P, Polinsky M. Object Control in Korean: A Backward Control Impostor. In: Movement Theory of Control. Amsterdam: John Benjamins; 2010. Kwon_Monahan_Polinsky_2nd_proofs.pdf
Polinsky M. What would Humboldt have done about ergativity in 2010?. In: DGfS--200th Anniversary of the Humboldt University. ; 2010. Berlin_slides.1.pdf
Kwon N, Lee Y, Gordon P, Kluender R, Polinsky M. Cognitive and linguistic factors affecting subject/object asymmetry: An eye-tracking study of pre-nominal relative clauses in Korean. Language. 2010. Language.pdf
Hypothesis A/Hypothesis B. (Gerdts D, Moore J, Polinsky M). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 2010. Website
Bhatia A, Benmamoun A, Polinsky M. Closest Conjunct Agreement in Head-Final Languages. Linguistic Variation Yearbook . 2010;10. offprint.pdf
Polinsky M. In: Sung JJ The Oxford Handbook of Typology. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2010. Linguistic_Typology_and_Formal_Grammar.pdf
Bateman N, Polinsky M. In: Gerdts D, Moore J, Polinsky M Hypothesis A/Hypothesis B. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press; 2010. Romanian_MIT_reprint.pdf Hyp_A.jpg
2009
Gagliardi A, Lidz J, Polinsky M. The acquisition of noun classes in Tsez. In: BUCLD 34. ; 2009. BUposter2009.pdf
Polinsky M. Oceanic Linguistics. 2009;48. AN_Adjuncts.review_proofs.pdf
Ueno M, Polinsky M. Journal of Linguistics. 2009;45:675-710. JoL_2009.pdf
Chung S, Polinsky M. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 2009;27(4).Abstract
This is an introduction to the special issue of NLLT on comparative syntax of Austronesian languages. It surveys the prospects for developing a systematic comparative approach to Austronesian syntax and outlines the benefits of such an approach for syntactic theory. We begin with a brief overview of Austronesian languages, focusing on some typologically unusual aspects of their grammar, and the theoretical explanations that have been proposed for these features. We then survey the articles in the rest of this volume and the theoretical questions they address. A novel feature of this special issue is that each article is followed by a commentary by another Austronesian linguist which engages the same issues from a different perspective. The pairings of article and commentary should give readers a window into the study of Austronesian syntax and its current contributions to linguistic theory.
NLLT_CP.pdf