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Faculty Fellow

Jason Merchant

Lorna P. Straus Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College University of Chicago


Dr. Jason Merchant's primary research area is syntax and its interfaces with morphology and with semantics. Much of his work has concentrated on elliptical phenomena, and in exploring the kinds of ontological questions that ellipsis requires answers to: how there can be meaning without form, whether there are phonologically inactive words and phrases, what the representation of variables can be, and where in our theory of human grammars such elements must be posited. These issues speak to the organization of the mental lexicon, but also to questions of how varieties of meaning are represented, semantically, pragmatically, and philosophically. His primary languages of investigation are the Germanic languages and Greek, with excursions into Slavic and Romance (including fieldwork on Vlach) and others, including work with bilingual children and adults. Jointly with other colleagues, he has worked on the psycholinguistics of ellipsis, and on corpus linguistics applied to historical semantics and legal interpretation.

For more details on his research and publications, please visit his profile page at the University of Chicago.


Historical Semantics and Legal Interpretation

Project Team:

2015 – 2018