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General Interests

Syntactic Theory; Morphology and its relationship to Syntax and Semantics; Linguistic Universals and Parameters of Variation; The Grammar of Less Studied Languages, especially Asian, African, and American; Implications of Linguistics for the Study of the Human Mind.

Curriculum Vitae

available here

Current Project

My current large-scale project is a study of “strange things complementizers do to relate to the noun phrases around them.” It involves seeking a unified theory of a range of less-familiar and less-studied phenomena, including upward complementizer agreement, allocutive agreement, indexical shift, logophoric pronouns, and switch reference. A goal is to show how uncommon constructions can nevertheless be manifestations of universal grammar, as they are different functional applications of the same syntactic infrastructure, involving the licensing of null nominals in the C-space, the control of those null nominals by arguments of the matrix verb, the binding of special pronouns by these null nominals, and various Agree relationships. Different combinations of these syntactic building blocks result in phenomenologically different constructions in different languages. At the heart of the work is a detailed study of Magahi (allocutivity, indexical shift) and Ibibio (C-agreement, logophoricity), but many other languages will be considered as well. This work is intended to be a book published in Open Access format in the “Open Generative Syntax” series of the Language Science Press (Berlin). All the chapters are available in draft form now below! . Comments are welcome! Please note that chapter 8 is a bit different: it revisits classic questions about control theory from the perspective of what has been learned from the previous chapters. Some might be interested in that work who are only peripherally interested in the earlier chapters.

Complementizers Relating to Noun Phrases: Rare Constructions within a Theory of Universal Grammar

Chapter 1: Introduction: Rare Wings are Universal Forelimbs

Chapter 2: Upward complementizer agreement in African languages

Chapter 3: Allocutive marking as complementizer agreement

Chapter 4: Indexical shift as the control of ghostly nominals

Chapter 5: Enter the logophoric pronoun

Chapter 6: The blended case of indexiphors

Chapter 7: Switch reference inside and outside complements

Chapter 8: Control theory from a broader perspective    NEW!


Core Research

Baker, Mark, and Shiori Ikawa. 2022. Control theory and the relationship between logophoric pronouns and logophoric uses of anaphors.  Manuscript, Rutgers University. To appear in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. Revised!

Baker, Mark, and Livia Camargo Souza. In press. On the size of same subject complements in two Panoan Languages. In Laszakovits, Sabine and Zheng Shen (eds.), The size of things. Language Science Press.

Baker, Mark. To appear. On dependent case and the sometimes-independence of ergativity and differential object marking. In Sevdali, Christina et al. (eds). The place of case in grammar. Oxford.

Alok, Deepak and Mark Baker. 2022. Person and honorification: Features and interactions in Magahi. Glossa, special issue edited by Paul Portner, Miok Pak, and Raffaella Zanuttini.

Baker, Mark. 2022. On Agree without agreement as a source of reflexive voice constructions. Glossa, special issue edited by Sandhya Sundaresan and Hedde Zeijlstra.

Baker, Mark. 2022. Agree without agreement in object clitic doubling constructions. In Wilder-Gold, Jana, et al. (eds), Angles of Object Agreement. Oxford University Press.

Baker, Mark and Livia Camargo Souza. 2021. Agree without Agreement: Switch reference and reflexive voice in two Panoan languages. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 38: 1053-114. Prepublication version.

Baker, Mark and Bleu Gondo. 2020. Possession and nominalization in Dan: Evidence for a general theory of categories. Glossa 5, p 39. Prepublication version

Baker, Mark. 2019. Toward a shared syntax for shifted indexicals and logophoric pronouns. In Jessica Coon et al. (eds.) [Volume to honor Lisa Travis.  Prepublication version.

Baker, Mark and Livia Camargo Souza. 2019. Switch-reference in American languages: A synthetic overview.  In Siddiqi, Daniel et al. (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of North American Languages, Ch. 9. Routledge. Prepublication version.

Alok, Deepak and Mark Baker. 2018. On the mechanics (syntax) of indexical shift: Evidence from allocutive agreement in Magahi. Manuscript, Rutgers University.

Baker, Mark and Ruth Kramer. 2018. Doubled Clitics are Pronouns: Amharic Objects (and beyond). Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 36: 1035-1088.  Prepublication version.

Atlamaz, Ümit and Mark Baker. 2018. On partial agreement and oblique case. Syntax 21: 195-237. Prepublication version.

Baker, Mark. 2018. Structural case: A realm of syntactic microparameters. Linguistic Analysis 41: 191-240. Prepublication version

Baker, Mark and Nadya Vinokurova. 2017. Rethinking structural case: Partitive case in Sakha.  To appear in A. Bárány et al. (eds.) Rethinking Grammar (Festschrift for Ian Roberts). Language Sciences Press

Baker, Mark. 2018. On the status of object markers in Bantu. In Akin Akinlabi and Oluseye Adesola (eds.), Data Rich Linguistics: Papers in Honor of Yiwola Awoyale. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Baker, Mark and Jonathan Bobaljik. 2017. On inherent and dependent theories of ergative case. In J. Coon, D. Massam, and L. Travis (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity, pp 111-134. New York: Oxford University Press.

Baker, Mark. 2017. Ergative case in Burushaski: A dependent case analysis. In J. Coon, D. Massam, and L. Travis (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Ergativity, 759-781. New York: Oxford University Press.

Atlamaz, Ümit and Mark Baker. 2016. Agreement with and past oblique subjects: New considerations from Kurmanji. In the proceedings of NELS 46.

Baker, Mark. 2015. Nouns, verbs, and verbal nouns: Their structures and their structural cases. In J. Blaszczak and K.Migdalski (eds.) How categorical are categories? New approaches to the old questions of noun, verb and adjective. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. (Prepublication manuscript)

Baker, Mark. 2015. Case: Its Principles and Parameters. Cambridge University Press. Table of contents. Chapter 1: Introduction: the issue of structural case. (Contact me if you need more information.)

Baker, Mark. 2014. On dependent ergative case (in Shipibo) and its derivation by phase. Linguistic Inquiry 45: 341-380. Manuscript version

Baker, Mark and Ruth Kramer. 2014. Rethinking Amharic prepositions as case markers inserted at PF. Lingua 145: 141-172.  Manuscript version.

Baker, Mark. 2014. Pseudo Noun Incorporation as covert incorporation: linearization and crosslinguistic variation. Language and Linguistics 15: 5-46. Manuscript version

Baker, Mark and Ümit Atlamaz. 2014. On the Relationship of Case and Agreement in Split Ergative Kurmanji and Beyond. Manuscript, Rutgers University, July 2014

Baker, Mark, Ken Safir, and Justine Sikuku. 2012.  Sources of (a)symmatery in Bantu double object constructions. In Proceedings of WCCFL 30 (Santa Cruz)

Baker, Mark and Nadya Vinokurova. 2012. Forms of Predication in Sakha: Will the True Lexical Predicates Please Stand up Canadian Journal of Linguistics.  Also available: On Tense and Copular Verbs in Sakha (a shortened version to appear in Rutgers Working Papers).

Baker, Mark. 2012. On the relationship of object agreement and accusative case: Evidence from Amharic. Linguistic Inquiry 43:255-274. (pre-publication version)

Baker, Mark. 2012. “Obliqueness” as a component of argument structure in Amharic.  In Cristina Cuervo and Yves Roberge (eds.) The End of Argument Structure? Emerald Press, pp. 43-74. (manuscript version)

Baker, Mark. 2011. When agreement is for number and gender but not person. When agreement is for number and gender but not person. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 29:875-915. (prepublication version)

Baker, Mark 2011. Degrees of nominalization: clause-like constituents in Sakha. Lingua 121:1164-1193.  (pre-publication version)

Baker, Mark. 2010. Types of Crosslinguistic Variation in Case Assignment. Ms., Rutgers University.  Paper presented at Workshop on Variation in the Minimalist Program, and scheduled to appear in a volume edited by Silvia Martinez Ferreirro and Carme Picallo.

Baker, Mark and Willie Udo Willie. 2010. Agreement in Ibibio: From Every Head, To Every Head. Syntax 13: 99-132.  (pre-publication version)

Baker, Mark and Nadya Vinokurova. 2010. Two Modalities of Case Assignment: Case in Sakha. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 28:593-642  (Revised version, as of January 2009)

Baker, Mark. 2010. On Parameters of Agreement in Austronesian Languages. In R. Mercado, J. Sabbagh and L. Travis (eds.) Austronesian and Theoretical Linguistics. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, pp. 345-374. (prepublication version)

Baker, Mark and Nadya Vinokurova. 2009. On Agent Nominalizations and Why They are not Like Event Nominalizations. Language 85:517-556.  (pre-publication version)

Baker, Mark. 2009. On some ways to test Tagalog nominalism from a crosslinguistic perspective. (A commentary on a paper by Daniel Kaufmann, for Theoretical Linguistics)

Baker, Mark. 2009. Is Head Movement Still Needed for Noun Incorporation? The Case of Mapudungun. Lingua 119:148-165. (Pre-publication version)

Baker, Mark and Carlos Fasola. 2009. Araucanian: Mapudungun. In R. Lieber and P. Stekauer (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Compounding, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 594-608.

Baker, Mark. 2008. On the Nature of the Anti-Agreement Effect: Evidence from Wh-in-Situ in Ibibio. Linguistic Inquiry 39: 615-632.  (pre-publication version)

Baker, Mark. 2005. On Gerunds and the Theory of Categories. Ms, Rutgers University.

Baker, Mark and Chris Collins. 2006. Linkers and the Internal Structure of vP. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 24: 307-354.

Baker, Mark, Roberto Aranovich and Lucía Golluscio. 2005. Two Types of Syntactic Noun Incorporation: Noun Incorporation in Mapudungun and Its Typological Implications. Language 81, 138-177. (Abstract.)

Baker, Mark. 2005. On Verb-Initial and Verb-Final Word Orders in Lokaa. Journal of African Languages and Linguistics 26:125-164.

Baker, Mark. 2003. Agreement, Dislocation and Partial Configurationality. In A. Carnie, H. Harley and M. Willie (eds.) Formal Approaches to Function. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 107-134.

Kandybowicz, Jason and Mark Baker. 2003. On Directionality and the Structure of the Verb Phrase: Evidence from Nupe. Syntax 6, 115-155. (Abstract.)

Baker, Mark. 2003. Verbal Adjectives as Adjectives without Phi-Features. Proceedings of the Fourth Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics. Yukio Otsu (ed.), Keio University, 1-22.

Baker, Mark. 2003. On the Loci of Agreement: Inverstion Constructions in Mapundungun. Proceedings of NELS 33, GLSA, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 25-49.

Baker, Mark. 2003.  Building and Merging, not Checking: The Nonexistence of (Aux)-S-V-O Languages. Linguistic Inquiry 33, 321-329.

Baker, Mark and Osamuyimen T. Stewart. 2002.A Serial Verb Construction Without Constructions. Ms, Rutgers University.

Baker, Mark. 2006. On Zero Agreement and Polysynthesis. In P. Ackema, P. Brandt, M. Schoorlemmer and F. Weerman (eds.) Arguments and Agreement. Oxford University Press, Oxord, 289-320.

Baker, Mark and Osamuyimen T. Stewart. 1999. On Double-Headedness and the Anatomy of the Clause. Ms, Rutgers University.

Baker, Mark and Osamuyimen T. Stewart. 1999. Verb Movement, Objects and Serialization. Ms, Rutgers University.

Baker, Mark and Lisa Travis. 1997. Mood as Verbal Definiteness in a ‘Tenseless’ Language. Natural Language Semantics 1, 43-83.

Baker, Mark. 1997. Thematic Roles and Syntactic Structure. In L. Haegeman (ed.) Elements of Grammar. Kluwer, Dordrecht, 73-137.

Baker, Mark. 1996. On the Structural Position of Themes and Goals. In J. Rooryck and L. Zaring (eds.) Phrase Structure and the Lexicon. Kluwer, Dordrecht, 7-34.


General & Cognitive Science

Baker, Mark and Dean Zimmerman. 2019. On perceiving God: Prospects for a cognitive science of religious experience. On perceiving God: Prospects for a cognitive science of religious experience. In A. Goldman and B. McLaughlin (eds.) Metaphysics and Cognitive Science, pp. 125-154. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Baker, Mark. 2013. On agreement and its relationship to case: Some generative ideas and results. Lingua 130: 14-32. (prepublication version)

Baker, Mark. 2012. Theism and cognitive science. In the Routledge Companion to Theism, edited by Charles Taliaferro and Stewart Goetz, Routledge.

Baker, Mark. 2009. Language Universals: Abstract not Mythological. Behavior and Brain Sciences 32:448-449, a commentary on a target article by Evans and Levinson.

Baker, Mark. 2007. The Creative Aspect of Language Use and Nonbiological Nativism. In P. Carruthers, S. Lawrence and S. Stich (eds.) The Innate Mind 3: Foundations and the Future. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 233-253.

Baker, Mark. 2008. The Macroparameter in a Microparametric World.  In T. Biberauer (ed.), The Limits of Syntactic Variation, John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 351-374.  (prepublication version)

Baker, Mark. 2006. Do All Languages Have the Same Grammar? In E.M. Rickerson and B. Hilton (eds.) The 5-Minute Linguist. Equinox Press, London, 54-57.

Baker, Mark. 2005. The Innate Endowment for Language: Overspecified or Underspecified. In P. Carruthers, S. Lawrence and S. Stich (eds.) The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 156-174.

Baker, Mark. 2005. Mapping the Terrain of Language Acquisition. Language Learning and Development 1, 93-129. (Prepublication version.)

Baker, Mark. 2003. Language Differences and Language Design. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7, 349-353.

Framework & Method

Baker, Mark. 2017. Reply to reviews of Case: Its principles and parameters. (Reply to reviews by Haspelmath, Malchukov, and Stiebbels.) Studies in Language 42: 190-204. (prepublication manuscript)

Baker, Mark, and William Croft. 2017. Lexical categories: legacy, lacuna, and opportunity for functionalists and formalists. Annual Review of Linguistics 3: 179-197. (prepublication manuscript)

Baker, Mark. 2013. Hypothesis testing in the Minimalist Program. In S. Luraghi and C. Parodi (eds.) The Bloomsbury Companion to Syntax, London: Bloomsbury, pp. 22-33. (prepublication manuscript)

Baker, Mark. 2011. The interplay between Universal Grammar, universals, and lineage specificity: Some reflections raised by Dunn, Greenhill, Levinson, and Gray 2011. Linguistic Typology 15:473-482.  (Prepublication version)

Baker, Mark. 2010. Formal Generative Typology. In B. Heine and H. Narrog (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 285-312.

Baker, Mark and James McCloskey. 2007. On the Relationship of Typology to Theoretical Syntax. Linguistic Typology 11:273-284.

last updated: 12/21/2022