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MIT Linguistics: Department of Linguistics & Philosophy

Massachusetts Institute of Technology


David Pesetsky :: Publications

Slides from plenary talk, Linguistic Society of America, January 4, 2013

"Что дѣлать? What is to be done?"

Recent papers

new paper! Phrasal Movement and its Discontents: Diseases and Diagnostics (January 2012), to appear in to appear in Lisa Cheng & Norbert Corver (eds.), Diagnostics in Syntax, Oxford University Press

new paper! Russian case morphology and the syntactic categories (October 2010)

The Identity Thesis for Language and Music
(October 2009, with Jonah Katz)
[clickable sound included in the PDF; sound files also available here]

Against Taking Diversity at "Face Value"
Invited commentary (May 2009) on "The Myth of Language Universals" by Evans & Levinson,
a target article to appear in Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

pedagogical chapter on Case theory (with Esther Torrego)
Draft of a chapter for the Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Minimalism, February 2009

Pirahã Exceptionality: a Reassessment
(with Andrew Nevins and Cilene Rodrigues)
Language 85.2, 355-404 (June 2009) [An earlier draft is available here.] (Responds to this paper, among others.)

Evidence and Argumentation: a Reply to Everett (2009)
(with Andrew Nevins and Cilene Rodrigues)
Language 85.3, 671-681 (September 2009) (A reply to this response to the paper listed above.)

Property Delay: Remarks on "Phase Extension" by Marcel den Dikken
Solicited "peer commentary", Theoretical Linguistics., 33.1, pp. 105-120. (2007)
Read the paper this is commenting on here.

Probes, Goals and Syntactic Categories (with Esther Torrego, UMass/Boston; June 2006).
In Proceedings of the Seventh Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics (Y. Otsu, ed; 2006)

The Syntax of Valuation and the Interpretability of Features. (with Esther Torrego, UMass/Boston; October 2004).
In Phrasal and Clausal Architecture: Syntactic Derivation and Interpretation.
Amsterdam: Benjamins. (S. Karimi, V. Samiian and W.Wilkins, eds; 2007)


Handouts from some recent talks

new! Dependent Case as Binding Theory (2011)
[handout from invited talk at NELS 42]

The Recursive Syntax and Prosody of Tonal Music
(2009; with Jonah Katz)
(handout for an earlier version of the paper The Identity Thesis for Language and Music listed above)
from a talk at the conference Recursion: Structural Complexity in Language and Cognition;
includes clickable sound (OS X users: Adobe Acrobat only, sound does not work in Preview)

Music Syntax is Language Syntax (2007)
[Updated version of a handout from a talk first delivered at the conference Language and Music as Cognitive Systems]


Manuscript versions of recently published work

Cyclic Linearization of Syntactic Structure (with Danny Fox, MIT; May 2004)
[Theoretical Linguistics 31.1-2, 1-46. special issue on Object Shift in Scandinavian; Katalin É. Kiss, ed.]

Responses to Fox & Pesetsky (2004) from Theoretical Linguistics 31.1-2:
by Elena Anagnostopoulou; Jonathan Bobaljik; Molly Diesing; Anders Holmberg; Gereon Mueller; Øystein Nilsen;
Peter Sells
; Balázs Surányi; Peter Svenonius; and Edwin Williams. [links are to those drafts available on the web].

Reply to the responses by Fox and Pesetsky.
[Theoretical Linguistics 31.1-2, 235-262. special issue on Object Shift in Scandinavian; Katalin É. Kiss, ed.]

Note: The Theoretical Linguistics paper contains about 1/3 of the material that will form part of a monograph, in prep.
For some of the remaining material, the best current source is the following lengthy handout:
"Cyclic Linearization and the Typology of Movement"
(with Danny Fox, MIT)

Related work:
"Cyclic Linearization and Asymmetry in Scrambling" by Heejeong Ko
"Pseudo-gapping and Cyclic Linearization" by Shoichi Takahashi

"Tense, case, and the nature of syntactic categories" (with Esther Torrego, UMass/Boston; 2002)
[Final version in The Syntax of Time, J. Guéron and J. Lecarme (eds.), MIT Press 2004]

"T-to-C Movement: Causes and Consequences (with Esther Torrego, UMass/Boston)"
[Final version in Michael Kenstowicz (ed.), Ken Hale: A Life on Language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (2001)]

"The Maturation of Grammatical Principles: Evidence from Russian Unaccusatives"
(with Maria Babyonyshev, Ronald Fein, Jennifer Ganger and Kenneth Wexler)
[Significantly revised version appeared in Linguistic Inquiry 32.1 (2001)]

Phrasal Movement and Its Kin
[Final version appeared as an MIT Press Monograph (2000)]

"Principles of Sentence Pronunciation"
[Final version appeared In P. Barbosa, D. Fox, P. Hagstrom, M. McGinnis and D. Pesetsky (eds.)
Is the Best Good Enough?
, MIT Press (1998)]


Encyclopedia articles

"Linguistic Universals and Universal Grammar", MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. (2000)

"Principles & Parameters Theory" Oxford International Encyclopedia of Linguistics, 2nd edition. Ed. W. Frawley. Oxford: Oxford University Press (2003)


Older Unpublished work

These PDF files are made from older manuscripts, and were not prepared for publication. They contain formatting and other errors.

"Russian Morphology and Lexical Theory" (1977)
[Generals paper in phonology from my graduate student days. Of interest as the birthplace of (what later became known as) Lexical Phonology.]

"The Earliness Principle" (1989)
[Paper presented at GLOW in 1989, but never written up.
Interesting data and observations about counterfactual inversion and about short verb movement in English.]

"Zero Syntax: vol. 2: Infinitives "(1991)
[Material intended for Zero Syntax but not included in the final publication.]



"How Psychological Science Informs the Teaching of Reading",
by Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark S. Seidenberg.
Psychological Science in the Public Interest 2:2 (November 2001)

"How Reading Should be Taught"
by Keith Rayner, Barbara R. Foorman, Charles A. Perfetti, David Pesetsky, and Mark S. Seidenberg. Scientific American, March 2002.

"The Battle for Language: from Syntax to Phonics"
[a handout for a talk in a USC series on Language and Mind. (2000)]

"If Language Is Instinctual, How Should We Write and Teach?"
[a talk delivered to a 1997 seminar organized by the American Society of Newspaper Editors]

"Linguistics and Learning to Read"
[ an essay prepared for a 1996 workshop of the National Council of Teachers of English]



Phrasal Movement and its Kin. MIT Press, 2000.

Is the Best Good Enough? MIT Press, 1998.

Zero Syntax, MIT Press, 1994.