The focus of my research is grammar, and more specifically:
- lexical semantics
Most of my work has been on English (though I enjoy working on other languages – in fact I did my PhD on an African language, Beja), and this is where I’ve done most of my empirical research. However, my speculative thinking about language has concerned questions about psychology (e.g. is there a special mental module for language? – I’m not yet convinced that there is) and other parts of language, especially semantics (e.g. is syntax distinct from semantics? – I think it is). My ideas on language are summarised in a theory called Word Grammar.
There are plenty of downloadable papers which describe my recent research. My latest books about my research are:
Minor research projects
Even in retirement I engage in minor research projects.
- Token-frequencies and type-frequencies of the major word-classes, attempting to explain the tendency for more formal and adult language to use more nouns.
- The limits of multi-lingualism, both individual and community.
- How much grammatical terminology do school leavers know?