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Ivan A. Sag
Department of Linguistics
Stanford University
Stanford CA 94305-2150
Phone: (650) 723-1578
Fax: (650)723-5666

2012-2013: On leave Autumn and Spring quarters
Office Hours: By appointment in 103 Margaret Jacks Hall.

Sadie Dernham Patek Professor in Humanities
Professor of Linguistics and Symbolic Systems

Syntax and Semantics at Stanford    



The goal of my research is to understand how grammatical knowledge is organized and how that knowledge is used in real-time language processing. Specifically, this has led to a constraint-based view of grammar, where all of linguistic knowledge is cast as static constraints on linguistic objects of varying types. Which constraints constitute grammars? What information is underspecified (e.g. polysemy, quantifier scope)? What information is multiply specified (e.g. lexical and structural ambiguity)? These are all questions that must receive answers based on empirical inquiry, integrating the results of theoretical and experimental linguistics. Language processing then, must address the problem of how motivated linguistic constraints interact with other knowledge sources (providing, for example, discourse, visual, social, and gestural information, as well as general world knowledge) in real-time language use. A theory of grammar that rings implausible in light of these concerns can lay no claim to `psycholinguistic reality'.