Erik Zyman

Faculty Photo
Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics
Rosenwald 224C
Office Hours: By Appointment
(773) 702-8522
PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2018
Teaching at UChicago since 2018
Research Interests: Syntax, Syntax-Morphology Interface, Syntax-Semantics Interface

Dr. Erik Zyman's research is in theoretical syntax, and it’s driven by the following questions: (1) What principles, elementary operations, and atomic elements determine how lexical items can and can’t be combined to form larger syntactic units? (2) Which of those are universal, which vary crosslinguistically, and why? (3) What are their cognitive (and other) underpinnings? Erik is interested in many syntactic processes and phenomena: (External and Internal) Merge, constituency, selection, projection, adjunction, phases and (anti)locality, clause structure and functional sequences, “wordhood” and (anti)mirror effects, and more. In short, he seeks to characterize the elementary operations that build syntactic structures and to determine why they have the properties they do. His research languages have included English, Latin, and P’urhepecha, among others.

Recent Publications

Selected Articles/Chapters:

  •  Zyman, Erik. In production. “In Situ Mixed Wh-Coordination and the Argument/Adjunct Distinction.” Glossa.
  • Zyman, Erik, and Nick Kalivoda. 2020. “XP- and X⁰-movement in the Latin Verb: Evidence from Mirroring and Anti-Mirroring.” Glossa.
  • Zyman, Erik. 2018. “Quantifier Float as Stranding: Evidence from Janitzio P’urhepecha.” Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 36:991-1034.
  • Zyman, Erik. 2018. “Gestures and Nonlinguistic Objects Are Subject to the Case Filter.” Snippets 32:6-8.
  • Zyman, Erik. 2018. “Interjections Select and Project.” Snippets 32:9-11.
  • Zyman, Erik. 2018. “Super-Local Remove in Nominal Preposing Around ‘Though.’ ” Snippets 33:13-15.
  • Zyman, Erik. 2017. “P’urhepecha Hyperraising to Object: An Argument for Purely Altruistic Movement.” Proceedings of the Linguistic Society of America, Vol. 2. Ed. Patrick Farrell. 53:1-15.

2019-2020 Course Offerings

Seminar: Syntax (LING 46000) - Autumn 2019

This course is an advanced graduate seminar in syntax. Through readings from the primary research literature, we will investigate the nature, properties, and precise formulation of some of the elementary (and perhaps some not-so-elementary) operations that build the syntactic structures of human language.

2020-2021 Course Offerings

Syntax 1 (LING 30201) - Autumn 2020

This course is an advanced survey of topics in graduate syntax examining current syntactic theory through detailed analysis of a range of phenomena and readings from the primary research literature.

Seminar: Syntax (LING 46000) - Winter 2021

This course is an advanced graduate seminar in theoretical syntax. Through readings from the primary research literature, we will investigate the nature and properties of the elementary syntactic operation Merge, as well as the related question of precisely how it should be formalized. We will also explore some pre-Merge approaches to phrase structure, with the aim of determining how the insights emerging from them should be understood in today’s theoretical context.

Advanced Syntax (LING 20202) - Spring 2021

Course Description: TBD.