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Hagit Borer

Professor of Linguistics
Fellow, British Academy
Fellow, Linguistic Society of America





Department of Linguistics, SLLF

Queen Mary University of London
Mile End
London E1 2NS

+44(0)20 7882 5740

h.borer at QMUL dot AC dot UK






Taking as a starting point the study of the human language faculty within the generative approach, my research for the past 30 years spans three sub-areas of linguistics: comparative syntax, morphosyntax and language acquisition. 

My study of inter-grammatical variation and comparative syntax led to the development of the hypothesis that this variation is reducible to the functional/inflectional component.  This hypothesis, in turn, served as a starting point for the study of the functional/inflectional system in general and its interaction with syntax in particular, therefore leading to the emergence of a morphosyntactic model.  From a different perspective, these hypotheses brought about the investigation of child language and the acquisition of grammatical knowledge.

In recent years, I have been pursuing an approach which shifts the computational load away from the lexical entry to the syntactic structure, subscribing to the view that an independent linguistic lexicon includes a minimal amount of structural information, and that it is structural constraints which determine traditionally lexical properties such as syntactic category type and argument structure. I have pursued the consequences of that approach for morphosyntax, for language acquisition, and for the syntax-semantics interface.