Syntactic theory: Construction-based syntax
The advice literature on grammar, usage, and style
Morphological theory: Lexeme-based, realizational morphology
Theory of grammar: Interfaces between phonology, morphology, and syntax
I'm investigating the interrelationships of syntax, morphology, and phonology, focusing especially on apparent counterexamples to the Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax and the Principle of Morphology-Free Syntax, as well as phenomena (like clitics) that appear to fall within more than one component of grammar.
I'm also doing research on the conceptual foundations of morphology, as well as developing a construction-based framework for syntax and a "realizational" framework for morphology.
More recently (well, since around 1980), I've been investigating syntactic variation, paying attention to small details that mostly don't map easily to large-scale social distinctions like region, sex, class, ethnicity, and so on. As an offshoot of this research, I've also become interested in the "advice literature" on English syntax, and more generally, on material about usage and prescriptivism; and I've returned to earlier interests in style and in mistakes in language.
In addition, for some years I've done research and writing on language, gender, and sexuality.
Papers of mine:
"Grammars of number theory: Some examples" (MITRE Corp., 1963).
Stephen Isard & Arnold Zwicky, "Some aspects of tree theory" (MITRE Corp., 1963).
Zwicky, Friedman, Hall, & Walker, "The MITRE syntactic analysis procedure for transformational grammars" (AFIPS Proc., 1965).
Topics in Sanskrit Phonology, my 1965 Ph.D. dissertation at MIT.
"Naturalness arguments in syntax" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1968).
"Phonological constraints in syntactic descriptions" (Papers in Linguistics,1969).
Stephen Isard & Arnold Zwicky, "Three open questions in the theory of one-symbol Smullyan systems" (SIGACT News, 1970).
"The free-ride principle and two rules of complete assimilation in English" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1970).
"Auxiliary Reduction in English" (Linguistic Inquiry, 1970).
"On reported speech" (Fillmore & Langendoen, Studies in Linguistic Semantics, 1971).
Michael Geis & Arnold Zwicky, "On invited inferences" (Linguistic Inquiry, 1971).
"In a manner of speaking", on manner-of-speaking verbs in English (Linguistic Inquiry, 1971).
"Remarks on directionality" (Journal of Linguistics, 1971).
"More on Nez Perce: On alternative analyses" (IJAL, 1971).
"On casual speech", (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1972).
"Note on a phonological hierarchy in English" (Stockwell & Macaulay, Linguistic Change and Generative Theory, 1972).
"Linguistics as chemistry: The substance theory of semantic primes" (A Festschrift for Morris Halle, 1973).
Clare Silva & Arnold Zwicky, "Discord" (Fasold & Shuy, Analyzing Variation in Language, 1973).
Arnold Zwicky & Ann Zwicky, "How come and what for" (Kachru et al., Papers in Honor of Henry and Renée Kahane, 1973).
"The analytic leap: From 'Some Xs are Ys' to 'All Xs are Ys'" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1973).
"Hey, whatsyourname!", on vocatives in English (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1974).
"Homing in: On arguing for remote representations" (Journal of Linguistics, 1974).
"Taking a false step" (Language, 1974).
Arnold Zwicky & Jerrold Sadock, "Ambiguity tests and how to fail them" (Syntax and Semantics, 1975).
"The strategy of generative phonology", in Dressler & Mareš, Phonologica 1972, 1975).
"Settling on an underlying form: The English inflectional endings" (Cohen & Wirth, 1975).
"This rock and roll has got to stop", on rhyme in rock music (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1976).
"Hierarchies of person" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1977).
"On clitics" (Indiana University Linguistics Club, 1977).
"Litmus tests, the Bloomfieldian counterrevolution, and the correspondence fallacy" (Metatheory conference proceedings, 1977).
"On markedness in morphology" (Die Sprache, 1978).
"Arguing for constituents" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1978).
"Across the channel and across the Atlantic" (Linguistic Inquiry, 1978).
“Classical malapropisms” (Language Sciences, 1979).
the booklet Mistakes (Advocate Publishing Group, 1980).
Arnold Zwicky & Nancy Levin, "You don’t have tó" (Linguistic Inquiry, 1980).
Arnold Zwicky & Robert Kantor. "A survey of syntax" (Language Development, Grammar, and Semantics: The Contributions of
Linguistics to Bilingual Education, Center for Applied Linguistics, 1980).
Arnold Zwicky & Ann Zwicky on restaurant menus (American Speech, 1981).
Arnold Zwicky & Ann Zwicky, "Telegraphic registers in written English" (Sankoff & Cedergren, 1981).
""Internal" and "external" evidence in linguistics" (PSA80, vol. 2, 1981).
Arnold Zwicky & Ann Zwicky, "Register as a dimension of linguistic variation" (Kittredge & J. Lehrberger, 1982).
"Word accent, phrase accent, and meter" (Innovations in Linguistics Education, 1982).
"Phonemes and features" (Innovations in Linguistics Education, 1982).
"Stranded to and phonological phrasing in English" (Linguistics, 1982).
“Classical malapropisms and the creation of a mental lexicon” (Obler & Menn, Exceptional Language and Linguistics, 1982).
Zwicky & Pullum on clitics and inflections (Language, 1983).
Zwicky & Pullum, "Phonology in syntax: the Somali optional agreement rule" (Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 1983).
Zwicky & Pullum, "Deleting named morphemes" (Lingua, 1983).
""Reduced words" in highly modular theories: Yiddish anarthrous locatives reexamined" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1984).
"Welsh soft mutation and the case of object NPs" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1984).
"Heads" (Journal of Linguistics, 1985).
"How to describe inflection" (Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1985).
"Clitics and particles" (Language, 1985).
Arnold Zwicky & Jerrold Sadock, "Speech act distinctions in syntax" (Shopen, 1985).
[AMZ's section of] Lauri Karttunen & Arnold Zwicky, "Introduction" to Natural Language Parsing (Dowty, Karttunen, & Zwicky, 1985).
"The case against plain vanilla syntax", about unadorned phrase structure grammar and its shortcomings (Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, 1985).
Jerrold Sadock & Arnold Zwicky, "A note on xy languages" (Linguistics and Philosophy, 1985).
"Elementary phonology from an advanced point of view: A gloss on K&&K" (Innovations in Linguistics Education, 1985).
"Rules of allomorphy and syntax-phonology interactions" (Journal of Linguistics, 1985).
"Forestress and afterstress", on accent in English noun-noun compounds (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"The OSU random, unorganized collection of speech act examples" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
Zwicky & Pullum, "The Principle of Phonology Free-Syntax: Introductory remarks" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
Zwicky & Pullum, "Two spurious counterexamples to the Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"The Unaccented Pronoun Constraint in English" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"Free word order in GPSG" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
Arnold Zwicky & Joel Nevis, "Immediate precedence in GPSG" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"Incorporating the insights of Autolexical Syntax" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"Agreement features: Layers or tags" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"In and out in phonology" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1986).
"Concatenation and liberation" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1986).
"Linguistics and the study of folk poetry" (Bjarkman & Raskin, The Real-World Linguist, 1986).
"The general case: basic form versus default form" (Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1986).
Pullum & Zwicky, "Phonological resolution of syntactic feature conflict" (Language, 1986).
"Imposed versus inherent feature specifications, and other multiple feature markings" (Indiana Univ. Linguistics Club Twentieth Anniversary Volume, 1986).
Arnold Zwicky & Ann Zwicky on "Patterns first, exceptions later" (Channon & Shockey, To Honor Ilse Lehiste, 1986).
Arnold Zwicky & Elizabeth Zwicky on imperfect puns (Folia Linguistica, 1986).
Ann Zwicky & Arnold Zwicky, "The thing is, some that’s aren’t there at all" (American Speech, 1986)
"German adjective agreement in GPSG" (Linguistics, 1986).
"The Slovenian orphan accusative, component interfaces, and covert grammatical categories" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1987).
"Slashes in the passive" (Linguistics, 1987).
"Unacceptably accented auxiliaries" (Linguistics, 1987).
Zwicky & Pullum on plain and expressive morphology (Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1987).
"Suppressing the Zs" (Journal of Linguistics, 1987).
"Transformational grammarians and their ilk" (MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, 1987).
Arnold Zwicky & Jerrold Sadock on "A non-test for ambiguity" (Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 1987).
"Rule interactions: Another gloss on K&& K" (Innovations in Linguistics Education, 1987).
Pullum & Zwicky, "The syntax-phonology interface" (Newmeyer, Linguistics: The Cambridge Survey, 1988).
"On the subject of bare imperatives" (Duncan-Rose & Vennemann, Festschrift for Robert P. Stockwell, 1988).
"Quicker, more quickly, *quicklier", about comparison of adverbs in English (Yearbook of Morphology, 1989).
"What are we talking about when we talk about serial verbs?" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1990).
"Syntactic representations and phonological shapes" (Inkelas & Zec, The Phonology-Syntax Connection, 1990).
"Inflectional morphology as a (sub)component of grammar" (Dressler et al., Contemporary Morphology, 1990)
"Empty NPs in English and government in unexpected places" (Edmundson, Feagin, & Mühlhäusler, Festschrift for Charles-James N. Bailey, 1990).
"Syntactic words and morphological words, simple and composite" (Yearbook of Morphology, 1990).
Pullum & Zwicky, "A misconceived approach to morphology" (West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 1992).
"Some choices in the theory of morphology" (Levine, Formal Grammar, 1992).
"Heads, bases, and functors" (Corbett, Fraser, & McGlashan, Heads in grammatical theory, 1993).
"Dealing out meaning", on construction grammar (Berkeley Linguistics Society, 1994).
"What is a clitic?" (in Nevis, Joseph, Wanner, & Zwicky, Clitics Bibliography, 1995).
"Exceptional degree markers: A puzzle in internal and external syntax" (OSU Working Papers in Linguistics, 1995).
"Why English adverbial -ly is not inflectional" (Chicago Linguistic Society, 1995).
"Syntax and phonology" (Encyclopedia of Languages and Linguistics, 1996).
Miller, Pullum, & Zwicky, "The Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax: Four apparent counterexamples in French" (Journal of Linguistics, 1997).
"Two lavender issues for linguists" (Hall & Livia, Queerly Phrased, 1997).
"Same but different", on ways in which a single phonological stem can correspond to material with different syntactic distributions, meanings, or uses (Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, 1999).
Pullum & Zwicky, "Gerund participles and head-complement inflection conditions" (Collins & Lee, Huddleston Festchrift, 1999).
"I wonder what kind of construction that this example illustrates" (Beaver et al., The Construction of Meaning, 2002).
"The other F word" (Out, 2003).
Millennial matters, about the meaning of "millennium" (For Bernard Comrie, April 2007).
Sophomore Seminar: Split Infinitives, Prepositions at End, and Other Horrors (SP 2005).
Seminar in Morphosyntax: A Cabinet of Curiosities (AU 2005).
Senior Seminar: Innovations: Variation and Change (
Sophomore Seminar: What is the Opposite of Masculine? Gay men and masculinity (SP 2007).
Linguistic Institute: Choosing a Variant: Unfree Variation (SU 2007).
Seminar in Phonology: The Phonology of Syntax (AU 2007).
Undergraduate Introduction: Morphology (WI 2008).
Sophomore Seminar: Slips of the Tongue (SP 2008).
My materials on prescriptivism and usage, for two courses I taught Spring Quarter 2004.
Handouts for my Sophomore Seminar "Split infinitives, prepositions at end, and other horrors" in Spring Quarter 2005.
Materials for LSA.376, "Choosing a variant: Unfree variation" at the 2007 Linguistic Institute.
Materials for a slips of the tongue course.
Abstracts for papers:
The abstract for the 1997 Pullum & Zwicky LSA paper "Licensing of prosodic features by syntactic rules: The key to auxiliary reduction".
An abstract of September 2003 for "Go look at the modern language to test hypotheses about the past", about the history of the Quasi-Serial Verb construction in English.
An abstract of May 2004 for "The shock of the new: Evaluative adjectives are whack!".
An abstract of September 2004 for "Learning from split infinitives".
An abstract of September 2005 for "Forms, constructions, and total syncretism: The case of USETA".
An abstract of July 2006 for "Extris, extris", on extra-is constructions in English.
An abstract of August 2006 for "The natural history of snowclones".
An abstract of August 2006 for "Personal taste and editorial style: however vs. but (by AMZ & Douglas W. Kenter).
An abstract of September 2006 for "Why are we so illuded?", on misperceptions about variation in language.
An abstract of September 2006 for "Metavariation: Variation in advice on variation" (by Thomas A. Grano & AMZ), on advice about choosing between the determiners much and a lot of.
Handouts for conference papers:
The handout for Zwicky & Pullum's 1996 LSA talk "Functional restriction: English possessives".
The handout for my 1999 Forum Lecture at the LSA's Linguistic Institute, on "The grammar and the user's manual".
The handout for my 2000 BLS talk (in the version presented later at Stanford) on "Describing syncretism: Rules of referral after fifteen years".
The handout for a Stanford Syntax Workshop in May 2000, "A-verb-in' we will go", on the syntax of a-prefixing of verbs in various Southern varieties of English.
The handout for my 2001 ICCG talk on "Radical constructionism".
The handout for my 2001 SemFest talk on "Counting Chad", on the count/mass distinction in English, with special reference to chad, e-mail/email, and ice plant.
The handout for my 2002 NWAV talk on "Seeds of variation and change".
The handout for a 2002 Stanford talk, "Just how interesting a construction is this? Explorations in the matching of internal and external syntax".
The handout for my 2002 SemFest talk on "The said and the unsaid", about material in the Atherton (CA) police blotter.
The handout for my presentation at the 2003 IsisFest, on "double is" in English.
The handout for a 2003 Stanford talk, "Some foundational issues for construction grammar: Mutual definition and cluster concepts".
The handout for a 2003 talk at Cornell, "Sounding gay".
The handout for my 2004 SemFest talk, "Isolated NPs".
The handout for my presentation "Toni Morrison's genius puts her in the grammar/usage spotlight" at the January 2005 meeting of the American Dialect Society.
The handout for my presentation "How to name a porn star" at the January 2005 meeting of the American Name Society.
The handout for my presentation "Ideal types: peacocks, chameleons, and centaurs" at the March 2005 SemFest (on categorization in general, and categorization of gay men in particular).
The handout for my presentation "Gonna, Auxiliary Reduction, and two modules of syntactic organization" at the 2005 Berkeley Linguistics Society meeting.
The handout for my November 2005 presentation on dangling modifiers at the Stanford Humanities Center.
The handout for a July 2006 presentation by Thomas Grano and AMZ, "Metavariation: Variation in advice on variation", on much vs. a lot.
The handout for my 2007 SemFest talk, "Extris, extris", on "extra is" constructions in English.
The handout for a 2007 SemFest talk by AMZ and Douglas Kenter, "Avoid vagueness? The case of sentence-initial linking however".
The handout for a 2008 SemFest talk, What to blame it on: Diathesis alternations, usage advice, “confusion”, and pattern extension.
The handout for my 2009 SemFest talk, "V + P~Ø" on transitive/intransitive alternations.
The handout for my 2010 SemFest talk, "Brevity plus" on morphological conversions favoring semantic/pragmatic specificity and social specificity as well as brevity.
The August 2006 McConvell/Zwicky bibliography on Isis.
Isa Buchstaller's 2004 bibliography on quotatives: social and linguistic factors and grammaticalization.
List of blogs and resources in language and linguistics (periodically updated)
Things by students I've worked with:
Laura Staum's 2004 qualifying paper on Go To Go construction.
Laura Staum's 2005 qualifying paper on variation in complementizer use.
Thomas Grano's 2006 undergraduate honors thesis on pronoun case in coordination.
Douglas Kenter, Eric Lee, & Rowyn McDonald's 2007 course paper on Gen-X So.
Melissa Carvell's 2012 presentation on the Linguistics in the Comics project (downloadable from here).
The January 2005 proposal for a book "Adventures in the Advice Trade".
Some choices in the theory of morphology. R. Levine (ed.), Formal grammar: Theory and implementation, Oxford Univ. Press (1992) 327-71.
(G.K. Pullum & A.M. Zwicky) Condition duplication, paradigm homonymy, and transconstructional constraints. BLS 17 (1991) 252-66.
(G.K. Pullum & A.M. Zwicky) A misconceived approach to morphology. WCCFL 10.387-98 (1992).
Heads, bases, and functors. G.G. Corbett, N. Fraser, & Scott McGlashan (eds.), Heads in grammatical theory. Cambridge Univ. Press (1993) 292-315.
(P.H. Miller, G.K. Pullum, & A.M. Zwicky) Le principe d'inaccesibilite de la phonologie par le syntaxe: trois contre-exemples apparents en francais. Lingvisticae Investigationes 16.2.317-43 (1992).
Dealing out meaning: Fundamentals of syntactic constructions. BLS 20.611-25 (1994).
(J.A. Nevis, B.D. Joseph, D. Wanner, & A.M. Zwicky) Clitics: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1892-1991. John Benjamins (1994).
Why English adverbial -ly is not inflectional. CLS 31.1.523-35 (1995).
Exceptional degree markers: A puzzle in internal and external syntax. OSU WPL 47.111-23 (1995).
(A.L. Halpern & A.M. Zwicky, eds.) Approaching Second: Second position clitics and related phenomena. CSLI Publications (1996).
Two lavender issues for linguists. K. Hall & A. Livia (eds.), Queerly Phrased. Oxford Univ. Press (1997) 21-34.
(P.H. Miller, G.K. Pullum, & A.M. Zwicky) The Principle of Phonology-Free Syntax: Four apparent counterexamples in French. JL 33.67-90.
(A. Spencer & A.M. Zwicky, eds.) Handbook of Morphology. Blackwell (1997).
(G.K. Pullum & A.M. Zwicky) Gerund participles and head-complement inflection conditions. P. Collins & D. Lee (eds.), The Clause in English. Benjamins (1999) 251-71.
Same but different. University of Illinois Studies in the Linguistic Sciences 29.2.105-10 (1999).
I wonder what kind of construction that this example illustrates. David Beaver, Luis D. Casillas Martinez, Brady Z. Clark, & Stefan Kaufmann (eds.), The Construction of Meaning. CSLI Publications (2002) 219-48.
The other F word. Out 115.82, 84, 140 (June 2003).
(John R. Rickford, Isabelle Buchstaller, Thomas Wasow, & Arnold Zwicky) Intensive and quotative all: Something old, something new. American Speech 82.1.3-31 (2007).
(Isabelle Buchstaller, John R. Rickford, Elizabeth Closs Traugott, Thomas Wasow, & Arnold Zwicky). The sociolinguistics of a short-lived innovation: Tracing the development of quotative all across spoken and internet newsgroup data. Language Variation and Change (in press).
Recent and future courses
In 2004-05, at Stanford, I taught: Syntactic Variation (125A/225A, graduate/undergraduate seminar, autumn quarter); Advanced Introduction to Linguistics (201, graduate course, winter quarter); Sophomore Research Seminar: Split Infinitives, Prepositions at End, and Other Horrors (30Q, on prescriptive grammar, spring quarter).
In 2005-06 I was a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center, working on the "Adventures in the Advice Trade" project (see .pdf link above), and taught one course: Seminar in Morphosyntax: A Cabinet of Curiosities (218, graduate seminar, autumn quarter).
In 2006-07 I taught: Seminar in Syntax: Choosing a Variant (125/225, graduate/undergraduate seminar, autumn quarter); Innovations: Variation and Change (157, undergraduate seminar, winter quarter); Choosing a Variant: Unfree Variation (LSA 376, course at the Linguistic Institute, summer quarter).
In 2007-08 I taught: Seminar in Phonology: The Phonology of Syntax (112/212A, graduate/undergraduate seminar, autumn quarter); Morphology (116, undergraduate introductory course, winter quarter).
In 2009-10 I taught: Choosing a Variant (116/216, graduate/undergraduate seminar, winter quarter).
I received an A.B. in mathematics from Princeton (1962) and a Ph.D. in linguistics from MIT (1965). After teaching four years at Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, I came to Ohio State in 1969, was named a Distinguished University Professor in 1989, and retired in 1995. Since 1985 I have been a visiting (now, consulting) professor at Stanford , and from September 1998 on I am based at Stanford. I have been active in the Linguistic Society of America (and was its president in 1992) and have taught or worked on research projects at many of the Linguistic Institutes of the LSA, from 1968 through 2007; I held the Sapir Professorship at the 1999 Institute, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. I am a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (elected 1992); of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (elected 1998); and of the Association for Psychological Science (elected 2007). I've held one-year fellowships at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the Stanford Humanities Center, and shorter appointments at Edinburgh, Sussex, and the Beijing Language Institute.
I am a frequent contributor to Language Log, where lots
of interesting linguists muse about things having to do with
language; to the American
Dialect Society mailing list; and to Chris Waigl's eggcorn database. And I
have blog of my own,
mostly on linguistic topics. And another, mostly XXX-rated blog here.
I am the founder of the OUTIL (OUT In Linguistics) mailing list, for lgbt(-friendly) linguists; this now functions as a Facebook group OUT In Linguistics. For an extensive bibliography on gay and lesbian language, see the compilation by Gregory Ward. And for links to just about anything of lgb relevance, check out the QRD (Queer Resources Directory). I am also a long-time participant in the Usenet newsgroup soc.motss (Members Of The Same Sex); the most recent faq file for soc.motss has all sorts of useful information about the newsgroup. (The soc.motss archives also include an anthology of my postings about life with my partner, Jacques Transue, during the last 12 years of his life.) And, if that isn't enough, for several years I was a board member of NOGLSTP (the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals).
I have been an enthusiastic singer in the Sacred Harp (Denson Book) shape-note singing tradition since 1989; I sing with groups in Palo Alto, San Francisco, and Columbus. All sorts of information about shape-note singing can be found on the FASOLA homepage.
A collection of my academic "postcard collages" is available here.
(Some explanation of these collages can be found here.)
Two further collages, in honor of colleagues, are available here.
And I am grandfather of the adorable Opal Eleanor Armstrong Zwicky. (Pictures at that site; blogs by her parents here.)
Office address: 2162 Staunton Ct., Palo Alto CA 94306-1438
Department address: Linguistics, Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305-2150. Linguistics office from 2009: 102 Margaret Jacks Hall (460-102).
Department phone: (650) 723-4284 (fax (650) 723-5666). Phone in 102 Margaret Jacks Hall: (650) 724-3903.
Home address: 722 Ramona St., Palo Alto CA 94301-2547
Home phone: (650) 323-0753
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