- Professor and Admission Committee Chair, Linguistics
- Syntactic theory, syntactic variation, Italian dialects, varieties of English, parsed corpora of vernacular speech
- Ph.D., University of Delaware
This book is for people who have never thought about syntax, and who don't know anything about grammar, but who want to learn. Assuming a blank slate on the part of the reader, the book treats English grammar as a product of the speaker's mind, and builds up student skills by exploring phrases and sentences with more and more complexity, as the chapters proceed.
This practical guide excites and empowers readers by guiding them step by step through each chapter with intermittent exercises. In order to capitalize on the reader's confidence as a personal authority on English, Understanding Sentence Structure assumes an inclusive definition of English, taking dialect variation and structures common amongst millions of English speakers to be a fact of natural language.
Published December 2018
This book presents and analyzes various features of the morphosyntax of Borgomanerese, a Gallo-Italic dialect spoken in the town of Borgomanero, in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. The study is highly comparative, drawing on the literature on numerous other Italian dialects and Romance languages (as well as English), to inform an understanding of the Borgomanerese phenomena. Tortora takes the many unusual and understudied - and often novel - facts of Borgomanerese grammar as compelling grounds for revisiting and reformulating current analyses of syntactic phenomena in these other languages. Focal points include the syntax of interrogatives; clausal architecture; and the relationship between orthography and theoretical analysis. The principal value of the book lies both in the rich description of the morphosyntactic phenomena of Borgomanerese â€” many of which have not been previously reported â€” and in the consequent novel analyses developed. The findings offer insight for other languages and dialects, and advance understanding of syntax and syntactic theory in general.
Published December 2014
Oxford University Press, 2014
This volume brings together papers which address a range of issues regarding the syntax of function words and functional categories in the Germanic languages. The works offered in this volume derive specifically from comparative studies of Germanic; at the same time they all bear directly on long-standing problems in syntactic theory and universal grammar. The contributions include novel theoretical and empirical approaches to infinitives, the syntax and acquisition of Verb Second, the structure and interpretation of present tense, the syntax and semantics of reflexives, the relationship between expletive syntax and the EPP, the syntax of possession, and the DP-internal syntax of pronouns. Some contributions present the results of experimental research which provide an entirely fresh perspective on previously unchallenged claims. Marcel den Dikken is an associate professor of linguistics at The Graduate Center.
Published August 2005
John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2005
This volume collects original theoretical works on the syntax and morphology of Italian and a wide range of Italian dialects, including Rhaeto-Romance varieties, Paduan, Sicilian, Bellunese, Piedmontese, and Calabrian. Edited by Christina Tortura, the collection consists of contributions from twelve leading scholars in the area of Italian dialect syntax. These ten essays offer insights into how Italian dialect informs our understanding of such issues in syntactic theory as clausal structure, pronominal syntax, verbal morpho-syntax, subject clitics, object clitics, interrogatives, imperatives, restructuring, and the syntax-symantics interface. The Syntax of Italian Dialects introduces novel analyses of familiar data as well as analyses of data that are themselves altogether novel.
Published July 2003
Oxford University Press, 2003