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Joseph A Sabbagh

Name

[Sabbagh, Joseph A]
  • Associate Professor, Linguistics & TESOL

Professional Preparation

    • 2005 PhD in LinguisticsMIT
    • 2000 BA in LinguisticsUC Santa Cruz

Appointments

    • Aug 2015 to Present Associate Professor
      Univresity of Texas, Arlington
    • Jan 2009 to Present Assist Professor
      University of Texas at Arlington
    • Jan 2008 to Jan 2009 Visiting Assistant Professor
      Reed College
    • Jan 2007 to Jan 2008 Visiting Lecturer
      UC Berkeley
    • Jan 2005 to Jan 2007 Postdoctoral Fellow
      McGill

Memberships

  • Membership
    • July 2004 to Present Linguistics Society of America
    • July 2004 to Present Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association

Research and Expertise

  • Syntactic theory; interface between syntax-phonology, syntax-semantics, and syntax-morphology; typology; Austronesian languages

    My primary research interest lies in syntax and its interfaces and is built upon careful description and analysis of Tagalog (Austronesian), which I have studied through sustained fieldwork over the past ten years. While my research to date has touched upon on a variety of topics, some overlapping but others quite independent, the underlying goal of all of my work in the broadest sense has been to meld a long-standing tradition in Linguistics of rigorous descriptive work and attention to detail with the analytical approaches and insights of modern generative linguistics. Current topics of research include: Syntactic theory (Formal Syntax), the syntax of Austronesian languages (especiallyTagalog), word order, argument structure,  interfaces between syntax and phonology, and syntax and semantics.

Publications

      Journal Article Forthcoming
      • Intonation, Adjunction, and Verb Initial Word Order in Tagalog

        {Journal Article} [Refereed/Juried]
      Forthcoming
      • Intonation, adjunction and verb-initial word order in Tagalog

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2014
      • Right Node Raising: An Overview

        In Language and Linguistic Compass, Vol 8:1, pp. 24-35

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]
      2014
      • Word Order and Prosodic Structure Constraints in Tagalog. 

        In Syntax: A journal of theoretical, experimental, and interdisciplinary research. Vol 17: 1, pp. 40-89. 

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2011
      • Adjectival Passives and the Structure of VP in Tagalog.

        In Lingua 121, pp. 1424-1458. 

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2009
      • The Category of Predicates and Predicate Phrases in Tagalog. 

        In Theoretical Linguistics 35.1 (2009): 153-166.

        {Review essay} [Non-refereed/non-juried]
      2009
      • Existential Sentences in Tagalog.

        In Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 27:5, pp. 675-719. 

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2008
      • Right Node Raising and Extraction in Tagalog.

        In Linguistic Inquiry 2008, 39 (3).

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]

      Journal Article 2007
      • Ordering and Linearizing Rightward Movement.

        In Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 25.2 (2007): 349-401.

        {Peer Reviewed} [Refereed/Juried]

      Anthology Work/Essay 2005
      • Minimalist Approaches to Clause Structure. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (MITWPL) 52, co-edited with Ken Hirwaia. 

        {Anthology Work/Essay} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Conference Paper 2004
      • (2004). Stress Shift and Prosodic Correspondence in Tagalog. Paper presented at West Coast Conference in Linguistics (WCCL), USC.

        {Conference Paper} [Refereed/Juried]

      Book Chapter 2003
      • "Existentials, locatives, and possessives in Zazaki". In Michael Kenstowicz (ed.), Studies in Zazaki Grammar. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics, pp. 59-76 (with Rebecca L. Norris). 

        {Book Chapter} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

      Conference Proceeding 2003
      • "Ordering and linearizing rightward movement". In Gina Garding and Mimu Tsujimura (eds.), Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL) 22. Cascadilla Press, pp. 436-449. 

        {Conference Proceeding} [Non-refereed/non-juried]

Presentations

    • February  2016
      Syntactic adjunction and prosodic adjunction in Tagalog

      Plenary talk, Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLS)

    • May  2015
      Intonation, adjunction, and verb initial word order in Tagalog

      Invited talk, Exploring the Interfaces (ETI) 3: Prosody and Constituent Structure. McGill University, Montreal CA. 

    • May  2015
      Prosody and Verb Initial Word order in Tagalog

      Keynote talk, 22nd Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (AFLA)

    • January  2012
      'Specificity and objecthood in Tagalog'
    • March  2011
      'Word order and prosodic structure constraints in Tagalog'
    • March  2011
      'Word order and prosodic structure constraints in Tagalog'
    • May  2011

      "Principles & Parameters and Minimalist Approaches to Syntax"

    • October  2009
      "How to evade a universal or two in Tagalog"
    • November  2009
      "Individual and event existentials in Tagalog"
    • February  2009
      "Predicate initial and predicate final word order in Tagalog"
    • January  2008
      "Subject initial sentences in a verb initial language"
    • May  2008
      "Word order and copular clauses in Tagalog"
    • April  2008
      "Copular Clauses in Tagalog"
    • March  2008
      "Copular clauses and predicate final word order in Tagalog"
    • February  2008
      "Predicate initial and predicate final word order in Tagalog"
    • November  2007

        "The syntax of existential sentences in Tagalog"

    • October  2007

      The grammatical ingredients of existense in Tagalog"

    • March  2007

      "A cross-linguistic difference among adjectives: Implications for the theory of argument structure"

    • February  2007

      "The syntax of the internal (theme) argument: Evidence from Tagalog"

    • January  2007

      "The syntax of internal argumets: Evidence from Tagalog"

    • March  2006
      "Unaccusative Adjectives and the structure of VP in Tagalog"
    • February  2006
      "The syntax of existential sentences in Tagalog"
    • October  2006
      "The syntax of existential sentences in Tagalog"
    • March  2006
      "A cross-linguistic difference among adjectives: Implications for the theory of argument structure"
    • February  2006
      "The syntax of the internal (theme) argument: Evidence from adjectives in Tagalog"
    • January  2006
      "The syntax of the internal argument: Evidence from Tagalog"
    • May  2005
      "Existential constructions in Tagalog"

      Refereed conference presentation

    • January  2005
      "Existential constructions and Case assignment in Tagalog"

      Refereed conference presentaiton. 

    • March  2004
      "Stress shift and prosodic correspondence in Tagalog"

      Refereed conference presentation. 

    • May  2004
      "Ordering and linearizing rightward movement"
    • May  2003
      "Rightward movement is sometimes movement before, and sometimes movement after, spellout"

      Refereed conference presentation. 

  • Past
    •  
      Prosody and Verb Initial Word order in Tagalog

      Keynote talk, 22nd meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association

Students Supervised

  • Doctoral
    • May 2012
      thumbnail

      Dr. Jensen completed his dissertation, The Structure of Clauses and Noun Phrases, in Spring 2012. He was awarded the "Best Student Abstract" by the Linguistics Society of America (LSA) (submitted for the 2011 Annual meeting of the LSA), and an NSF Dissertation Improvement Grant (NSF #1052964) in 2010. His dissertation was published by DeGruyter in 2014.  

Collaborators

    • thumbnail
      Duration : June 2013 to Present

      Collaborative work on the prosody of verb initial languages (Tagalog and K'iche')

    • thumbnail
      Duration : June 2013 to Present

      Collaborator on Tagalog corpus project. 

Courses

      • LING 5331-001 ADVANCED FORMAL SYNTAX

        This course is a continuation of Linguistics 5330 (Formal Syntax). Building upon the basic theoretical framework introduced in Linguistics 5330, this course will focus on a set of topics that are active areas of current syntactic research. Rather than focussing on developing explicit analyses of syntactic phenomenon, our focus instead will be on the broader theoretical implications surrounding these phenomenon. Topics to be covered include: (i) Wh-movement and Islands phenomenon; (ii) The interaction of movement and the Binding Principles (i.e. reconstruction); (iii) Asymmetries among A and  A-bar movement; and (iv) Ellipsis phenomenon.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2017 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5380-001 Field Methods

        This course provides students with hands-on experience in the general task of investigating a language through one-on-one interviews with its speakers. Students will elicit, record and transcribe language data from the speaker of an unfamiliar language (Dinka; Nilo-Saharan), and will develop original analyses of those data.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2017 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5330-001 Formal Syntax

        This is the first of a two-sequence course in generative syntax. Topics include phrase structure, anaphora, movement, Case, and thematic roles.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5334-001 Morphology

        Study of the principles of word formation: derivation, inflection, and compounding; cross-linguistic study of morphological processes, morphological investigation and analysis. Presents theoretical and descriptive issues, particularly those raised by the framework of distributed morphology and its current competitors.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 3340-001 GRAMMAR AND MORPHOLOGY

        This course introduces the fundamental goals and techniques of syntactic analysis, from the perspective of generative grammar. It also has the goal of putting you in a position to pursue more advanced study of the structure of human languages and to provide a foundation for your own research. In addition to introducing the basic concepts of modern grammatical theory, this course focusses on the question of how one should choose a theory, construct an argument, and expand and constrain the theory. 

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 6390-001 Linguistics Research Seminar

        The purpose of this seminar is first and foremost to help students make significant progress on their research projects relating to either (i) their second year Qualifying Paper; or (ii) their dissertation proposal. (Other research projects may be relevant as well.) A second purpose of the seminar will to help students develop various professional skills such as abstract writing and paper reviewing.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2016 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 3340-001 GRAMMAR AND MORPHOLOGY

        This course introduces the fundamental goals and techniques of syntactic analysis, from the perspective of generative grammar. It also has the goal of putting you in a position to pursue more advanced study of the structure of human languages and to provide a foundation for your own research. In addition to introducing the basic concepts of modern grammatical theory, this course focusses on the question of how one should choose a theory, construct an argument, and expand and constrain the theory.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5331-001 ADVANCED FORMAL SYNTAX

        This course is a continuation of Linguistics 5330 (Formal Syntax). Building upon the basic theoretical framework introduced in Linguistics 5330, this course will focus on a set of topics that are active areas of current syntactic research. Rather than focussing on developing explicit analyses of syntactic phenomenon, our focus instead will be on the broader theoretical implications surrounding these phenomenon. Topics to be covered include: (i) Wh-movement and Islands phenomenon; (ii) Current conceptions of phrase structure; (iii) Ellipsis phenomenon; and (iv) The syntax-phonology interface.

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2015 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5331-001 Advanced Formal Syntax

        Continuation of LING 5330. Topics include unbounded dependencies, A-bar movement, constraints on A-bar movement (islands); Ananphora. 

      • LING 4303-001 Formal Syntax

        This course is an introduction to the systematic study of natural language syntax. The course presents the motivation for the modern generative approach to the scientific study of language and develops systematically a generative transformational treatment of the most basic syntactic constructions of natural language. The intellectual emphasis of the course is on understanding the reasoning process that guides syntactic analysis.

      • LING 5330-001 Formal Syntax (Xlisted with LING 4303-001)

        Explores the grammatical structures characteristic of human language by analyzing data from diverse languages within the theoretical framework of formal syntax. (Also taught as LING 5330. Credit will be granted only once for LING 4303 or LING 5330.). Prerequisite: LING 3340. 

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2013 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 3340-001 GRAMMAR AND MORPHOLOGY

        Grammatical patterns found in languages of the world, including the structure and distribution of words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and larger units. Prerequisite: LING 3311. 

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2013 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 3311-002 INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTIC SCIENCE

        Introduction to linguistics, the systematic study of human language. Drawing on phenomenon from a range of languages, this course examines the sound patterns of language (phonetics and phonology), words and word formation (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), meaning (semantics), and language in context (pragmatics). Emphasis will be placed on methods of linguistic analysis to solve problems in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 4335-001 Language Universals and Linguistic Typology

        An introduction to cross-linguistic variation and grammatical description. Particular emphasis is placed on developing the notion of linguistic typology through exploration of proposed universals of language based on the comparative study of the morphology and syntax of the languages of the world.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2011 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5331-001 ADVANCED FORMAL SYNTAX (Xlisted with LING 4303-001)

        Continuation of LING 5330. Topics include unbounded dependencies, A-bar movement, constraints on A-bar movement (islands); Ananphora.  

        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2011 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours1 Link
      • LING 5330-001 Formal Syntax

        Explores the grammatical structures characteristic of human language by analyzing data from diverse languages within the theoretical framework of formal syntax. Prerequisite: LING 3340 or permission of instructor.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2010 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 6393-001 Seminar in Syntax

        Seminar in Syntax, covering topics related to the interface between Syntax and Phonology.

        Fall - Regular Academic Session - 2010 Download Syllabus Contact info & Office Hours
      • LING 5331-001 ADVANCED FORMAL SYNTAX
        Continuation of Linguistics 5330. The first half of this course investigates the role that locality plays in syntax through detailed investigation of "island" phenomenon. The second half of this course explores the architecture of anaphora.
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2010 Download Syllabus
      • LING 5630-001 Non-Western Linguistic Structures
        Study of a selected non-Western language, language family or language area based on descriptive linguistic analysis. May be repeated once for credit as the topic varies. Prerequisite: LING 3330 and LING 3340.
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2009 Download Syllabus
      • LING 5330-001 Formal Syntax
        Explores the grammatical structures characteristic of human language by analyzing data from diverse languages within the theoretical framework of formal syntax. Prerequisite: LING 3340 or permission of instructor.
        Spring - Regular Academic Session - 2009 Download Syllabus

Service to the Profession

  • Appointed
    • July 2008 to  Present Member, Editorial Board

      Member, Editorial Board for SyntaxA journal of theoretical, experimental, and interdisciplinary research. 

  • Other
    • July 2011 to  Present National Grant Reviewer

      Reviewed grant proposals for National Science Foundation (NSF, USA) (spring 2011 review cycle); Social Science and Humanaties Research Council (SSHRC, Canada) (fall 2012 review cycle). 

    • July 2006 to  Present Conference Reviewer

      LSA Annual Meeting (continuous since 2008); Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (continuous since 2006); West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (2011)

    • July 2005 to  Present Journal ad-hoc reviewer

      Natural Language and Linguistic Theory (3 articles); Language (3 articles); Lingua (2 articles); Linguistic Inquiry (2 articles); Journal of Linguistics (1 article); Philippine Social Science Review (1 article); Journal of East Asian Linguistics (1 article); Language & Linguistics (1 article)

  • Volunteered
    • Sept 2012 to  May 2013 Organizer, 20th Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association conference

      Organized the 20th Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association conference, hosted at UT Arlington. 

    • Nov 2016 to  Feb 2017 Panelist, National Science Foundation (NSF)

      Reviewed and made recommendations for funding of applications for a program* sponsored by NSF.  (*For confidentiality reasons, I cannot name the specific program.) 

Service to the University

  • Appointed
    • Nov 2015 to  Present Member, CCTP (College Committee on Tenure and Promotion)

      Reviewed dossiers and applications for tenure and promotion at UT Arlington. 

    • Nov 2015 to  Present Chair, ACTP (Academic Committee for Tenure and Promotion), Dept. of Linguistics & TESOL

      Reviewed dossiers and application for tenure and promotion for candidates in the Department of Linguistics & TESOL. 

    • Jan 2014 to  Jan 2015 Member, Research Committee, College of Liberal Arts

      Reviewed applications for REP/FDL and University research awards. 

    • Jan 2012 to  Jan 2014 Member, Undergraduate Curriculum Commitee

      Reviewed changes to Undergraduate curriculum for departments within the College of Liberal Arts, UT Arlington

    • Sept 2015 to  Mar 2016 Chair, Committee on 4th year Performance Review of Department Chair

      Collection of surveys and elicitation of feedback on the perforamnce of the department chair for the Dept. of Linguistics & TESOL. 

    • Dec 2015 to  Mar 2016 Chair, Search Committee, Department of Linguistics and TESOL

      Head of search committee for position in Socio-phonology. Collection of application materials, organization of interviews and on-campus job interviews. 

    • Sept 2015 to  Present PhD Graduate Advisor, Department of Linguistics and TESOL

      Advisor for PhD students in Linguistics; responsibility for registration of PhD students, course sequencing, scheduling of exams and proposal and dissertation defenses, carreer advisment, varia paper work. 

  • Elected
    • Aug 2016 to  Present Member, Faculty Senate

      The Faculty Senate is the elected legislative and deliberative faculty body whose primary purpose is to represent the faculty to the University administration, UT-System administration, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System, and such other parties as may be appropriate or necessary.

      The Faculty Senate reviews and formulates policy and enacts legislation on all matters pertaining to the professional concerns, duties, standards, ethics, responsibilities, privileges, and perquisites of the faculty.

Other Service Activities

  • Uncategorized
    • Dec  Editorial Board(s)
      Syntax
    • Dec  Field Work
      Hebrew, Tagalog, Zazaki
    • Dec  Review Work
      Journals (as ad hoc reviewer): Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, Linguistic Inquiry; Conference Abstracts: Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association (ALFA), Linguistic Society of America (LSA); Grant Applications: Israeli Science Foundation (ISF); National Science Foundation (NSF); Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)