James Griffiths

Center for Language and Cognition Groningen
Postbus 716
9700 AS Groningen
The Netherlands
j [dot] e [dot] griffiths [at] rug [dot] nl

CV (19 March 2015)
my profile @ academia.edu
My PhD research forms part of the ERC-funded project Incomplete Parenthesis, for which I have investigated the syntax of comment and report clauses.

I have also worked on clausal ellipsis phenomena, specifically on the role of contrastive focus in predicting syntactic island obviation in fragment answers and sluices, and on how fragment answers provide a diagnostic for testing different accounts of how appositive relative clauses are syntactically related to their anchors. I have also undertaken research on Turkish, examining fragment answers and ki-clauses. I have also undertaken research on dialectal variation within the prepositional domain in British English.

More generally, I am interested in sentential syntax (clausal complementation, parataxis, insubordination, quotation), elliptical phenomena, and the syntax-pragmatics interface.

My PhD advisors are Prof. Jan-Wouter Zwart and Dr. Mark de Vries. My upcoming PhD thesis explores the syntax of appositive constructions in English and Turkish.

Recent: I am organising a workshop (Fostering Appositive Outlook), which will take place on the day of my PhD defence (20 April 2015). Some provisional details about the workshop can be found here.


2015cOn appositives. Doctoral dissertation, University of Groningen. Utrecht: LOT Dissertation Series, no.389.

Articles and book chapters

2015aParenthetical verb constructions, fragment answers, and constituent modification. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33(1): 191-229. [article]
2015bSpeaker and quote reduced parenthetical clauses. In S. Schneider, J. Glikman & M. Azanzi (eds.), Parenthetical Verbs. De Gruyter Linguistische Arbeiten 557. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter, 71-102. [postprint]
2014aContrast and island sensitivity in clausal ellipsis. Syntax 17(3): 189-234. Joint paper with Anikó Lipták. [postprint] [article]
2014bParenthesis and presupposition in discourse. Linguistics in the Netherlands 31: 39-52. Joint paper with Mark de Vries. [postprint]
2014cKi issues in Turkish: Parenthetical coordination and adjunction. In M. E. Kluck, D. Ott & M. de Vries (eds.), Parenthesis and Ellipsis: Cross-Linguistic and Theoretical Perspectives. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 173-217. Joint paper with Güliz Güneş. [postprint]
2013The syntactic integration of appositives: evidence from fragments and ellipsis. Linguistic Inquiry 44(2): 332-344. Joint paper with Mark de Vries. [article]

Selected presentations

2015Appositives, two-utterance monologues, and different kinds of meaning. Paper presented at Redrawing Pragmasemantic Borders. Groningen, March 2015. [handout]
2015PPs with gaps in. Paper presented at Taalkunde in Nederland-dag 2015. Utrecht, Feb 2015. Joint presentation with Craig Sailor. [handout]
2014Two types of apposition. Paper presented at Outside the clause. Vienna, July 2014. [handout]
2013Notes on ki. Paper presented at the S-Circle's Parentheticals workshop. Santa Cruz, April 2013. Joint presentation with Güliz Güneş. [handout]
2011Contrastivity in island repair: an argument for parallelism. Paper presented at Islands in Contemporary Linguistic Theory. Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nov 2011. Joint presentation with Anikó Lipták. [slides] [video]


2011An analysis of embedded declarative fragments and their implications for the theory of sluicing. Ms. University of Groningen. [pdf]
2010Clefts and TP-Ellipsis in English. MA thesis. Leiden, NL. [pdf]
(Although I no longer stand by the conclusion of this thesis, the data are still good. Please consult me before citing.)
2009A grammar of Minangkabau. The product of MA fieldwork on the Minangkabau language of Sumatra. [rar].

Ongoing projects

The ParaCrawler database. ParaCrawler is a web application containing data from an ongoing cross-linguistic survey into paratactic phenomena. Its goal is to provide a comprehensive, theory independent collection of linguistic constructions and multilingual examples describing them. Along with the other members of the Incomplete Parenthesis project, I am involved in the design of system of classification used by ParaCrawler, and with imputing examples from English.

James Griffiths