Andrew Radford at LEL Research Seminar

Posted on April 19, 2017 by

Next Tuesday, April 25,  we welcome Prof. Emerit. Andrew Radford at the LEL Research Seminar. Andrew Radford, perhaps best know for his book on minimalist syntax, will focus on Microvariation in the use of how come in English. Here is the abstract:

Microvariation in the use of how come in English

Prof. Emerit. Andrew Radford – University of Essex

This talk takes up an issue briefly touched on in my 2016 book Analysing English Sentences (2nd ed, pp.95‒7) relating to the puzzling nature of how come in colloquial English. I report on a survey of how come questions which I recently undertook with Yoshio Endo. I then present a critique of an earlier analysis of how come as a complementiser by Collins (1991), before moving on to critically evaluate more recent cartographic analyses of how come as an adverb by Shlonsky & Soare (2011) and Endo (2017). I conclude by presenting a novel alternative analysis of my own, which aims to capture the range of variation found in how come questions.

Selected References

 Collins, Chris. 1991. Why and How come. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 15: 1-45.

Endo, Yoshio. 2017. Inter-speaker variation and subject drop in How come questions. Submitted to Linguistic Variation.

Radford, Andrew. 2016. Analysing English Sentences, 2nd. edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Shlonsky, Ur & Soare, Gabriella. 2011. Where’s ‘why’? Linguistic Inquiry 42: 651-669.


Please join us for the talk! As usual, everyone is invited to stick around afterwards to talk to our speaker over some wine and crisps. Note that, unlike the seminars before the easter break, Andrew Radford’s talk will be the first seminar to return to the Samuel Alexander Building.

Event details:

Location: Sam Alex_A112

Date and time: Tuesday, April 25, 4.15pm-5.30pm

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