Jason Kandybowicz

Jason Kandybowicz faculty photo

Research Interests

  • Syntactic theory
  • Syntax-phonology interface
  • Field linguistics: African languages (Asante Twi, Bono, Ikpana, Krachi, Nupe, Shupamem, Wasa)
  • Endangered languages and language documentation


  • Ph.D., Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles

Jason Kandybowicz is a syntactician and field linguist who specializes in the languages of West Africa. His research interests include syntactic theory, the syntax-phonology interface, language documentation, and the Niger-Congo languages of West Africa. Many of the languages he researches are either endangered or under-documented. Kandybowicz joined the Ph.D. Program in Linguistics in 2015 after serving for three years as an Associate Professor of Linguistics and as director of the KU Field Linguistics Lab at the University of Kansas. He earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles and received his B.A., in Linguistics and Philosophy from Rutgers University. Kandybowicz is the author of several books including "Anti-contiguity", "The Grammar of Repetition", and "Africa's Endangered Languages", as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals and edited volumes.

Awards and Grants

  • National Science Foundation Grant (EAGER DEL 1748590) - "Training and Text Collection as a Vehicle for Recruiting and Retaining Endangered Language Fieldworkers".
  • National Science Foundation Grant (DEL 1360823) - "Africa’s Endangered Languages: Documentary and Theoretical Approaches".

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

  • Linguistic Society of America
  • Association of Contemporary African Linguistics

Courses Taught

  • Syntax I (Ling 72100)
  • Syntax II (Ling 72200)
  • Field Methods (Ling 82100)
  • Field Methods II (Ling 82200)
  • Structure of an Individual Language (Ling 73100)
  • Seminar in Syntax (Ling 84100)
  • Foundational Issues in Linguistics (Ling 79600)
  • Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (Ling 70100)



  • 2020, Aspects of Ikpana Grammar (with Bertille Baron, Philip T. Duncan, and Hironori Katsuda) Monograph under development.
  • 2020, Anti-Contiguity: A Theory of Wh-Prosody New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 2008, The Grammar of Repetition: Nupe Grammar at the Syntax–Phonology Interface Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. LINGUISTIK AKTUELL/LINGUISTICS TODAY 136.

Edited Volumes

  • 2018, African Linguistics on the Prairie: Selected Papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics (WithTravis Major, Harold Torrence, and Philip T. Duncan)Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • 2017, Africa’s Endangered Languages: Documentary and Theoretical Approaches (With Harold Torrence) New York: Oxford University Press.
  • 2003, Papers in African Linguistics, Volume 3 UCLA Working Papers in Linguistics 9: University of California, Los Angeles.

Journal Articles

  • 2020, “Restrictive Appositive Relative Clauses in Shupamem”(With Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare) In preparation.
  • 2020, “On  the  Absence  of  Islands  in  Shupamem”(With  Tysean  Bucknor, Xiaomeng Ma,  Magdalena Markowska, Abdoulaye Laziz Nchare, Hagay Schurr and Armando Tapia) In preparation.
  • 2020, “Documenting the Ikpana Interrogative System” (With Bertille Baron, Philip T. Duncan & Hironori Katsuda) Revised and resubmitted to Journal of African Languages and Linguistics.
  • 2017, “On Prosodic Variation and the Distribution of Wh-In-situ” Linguistic Variation 17.1:111–148.
  • 2013, “Ways of Emphatic Scope-taking: from Emphatic Assertion in Nupe to the Grammar of Emphasis” Lingua128: 51–71.
  • 2011, “How Why is Different: Wh-In-situ in Krachi” (With Harold Torrence) Snippets 23: 5–6.
  • 2009, “Embracing Edges: Syntactic and Phono-syntactic Edge Sensitivity in Nupe ”Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 27.2: 305–344.
  • 2009, “Externalization and Emergence: On the Status of Parameters in the Minimalist Program” Biolinguistics 3.1: 94–99.
  • 2003, “On Directionalityand the Structure of the Verb Phrase: Evidence from Nupe” (With Mark Baker) Syntax6.2: 115–155.