Papers and Handouts

  1. Current Projects
  2. Manuscripts in progress
  3. Publications
  4. Unpublished Manuscripts, including dissertation

Current (Ongoing) Projects

  1. Developmental Minimalist Syntax: a proposal about correlations between the Minimalist analysis of adult language and timelines of child language acquisition. Several manuscripts are in development (noted below) and you can visit this page for a description of the project. Currently under review.
  2. The interface of information structure and syntax in Bantu object marking. Work is ongoing in Lubukusu, Cinyungwe, and Ikalanga currently. Two former Pomona College students took over the projects on Tiriki and Wanga, which were recently completed as their master’s theses (links forthcoming). The main Lubukusu manuscript is in final stages of revision, and a full draft is linked below.
  3. Open Access Textbook for Syntax courses. A second edition of the original text found here.
  4. Robust Grammatical sketches of several Luyia varieties (long term, underway)
    • Tiriki Grammar. With Michael Marlo.
    • Wanga Grammar. with Christopher Green and Michael Marlo.
    • Bukusu Grammar. with Michael Marlo and Justine Sikuku.

Textbook (in development)

Diercks, Michael, Beatrice Santorini, and Anthony Crouch. The Syntax of Natural Language. 2nd edition. Ms, Pomona College and University of Pennsylvania. To be published Open Access by The Claremont Colleges library via Pressbooks.

Manuscripts in progress

Accepted manuscripts:

Carstens, Vicki and Michael Diercks. To appear. The syntax of Bantu languages. (an overview article). In Ellen Hurst, Nancy Kula, Lutz Marten & Jochen Zeller (eds.), The Oxford Guide to the Bantu Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [lingbuzz]

Green, Christopher R., Michael R. Marlo & Michael Diercks. To appear. Wanga (JE32a). In Ellen Hurst, Nancy Kula, Lutz Marten & Jochen Zeller (eds.), The Oxford Guide to the Bantu Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press. [draft date Feb 2019 preprint .pdf ]

Langa da Câmara, Crisófia, Michael Diercks, Madelyn Colantes (PO ‘22), Brendan Ly (PO ‘22), Jackson Kuzmik (PO ‘20), and Hannah Lippard (PO ‘17). 2022. Object marking in Cinyungwe. To appear in the Proceedings of ACAL 51/52. [.pdf]

Letsholo, Rose, Mady Colantes, and Michael Diercks. 2022. Emphatic Properties of Object Marking in Ikalanga. Accepted for publication in the proceedings of ACAL 53. [.pdf]

Sikuku, Justine and Michael Diercks. Object Marking in Bukusu: At the interface of pragmatics and syntax. Accepted for publication with Language Science Press under the series Open Generative Syntax. [.pdf]

Diercks, Michael, Cliff Mountjoy-Venning, and Kristen Hernandez. 2022. Agreeing and non-agreeing hyper-raising in Luyia: Establishing the empirical landscape. Under revision for publication. [ in-progress .pdf]

Katherine Johnson and Michael Diercks. 2024. Interpretive Properties of Perception Verbs in Tiriki: Hyperraising and Copy-raising. Accepted for publication in the Proceedings of ACAL 54. [.pdf forthcoming]

Full manuscripts under review/revision:

Diercks, Michael, Katherine Johnson, Galia Bar-Sever, and Madeline Bossi. Developmental Minimalist Syntax. Ms, Pomona College, Stanford University, and UC Berkeley. [Draft Date: January 2023 lingbuzz ]

Wasike, Aggrey and Michael Diercks. 2021. Lubukusu Adverbials. University of Toronto and Pomona College. Under Review. [.pdf]

Major, Travis, Justine Sikuku, and Michael Diercks. 2021. “say”-complementation: reanalyzing agreeing complementizers as verbs. Under revision. [.pdf]

Diercks, Michael. 2022. Information structure is syntactic: Evidence from Bantu languages. Under revision.. [.pdf]

Manuscripts in development:

Diercks, Michael. 2021. On the Characteristics of Abstract Syntactic Constructions: UG without linguistic innateness. Ms, Pomona College.

Bossi, Madeline and Michael Diercks. 2021. A Field Guide to the Minimalist Program. Ms, UC Berkeley and Pomona College.

Diercks, Michael. 2022. Information Structure is derivationally late. Ms, Pomona College. [handout .pdf]

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Hannah Lippard (PO ’17), Justine Sikuku, Crisófia Langa da Câmara, Rose Letsholo, Madelyn Colantes (PO ’22), Kang (Franco) Liu (PO ’20), and Michael Diercks. 2023.  Emphatic Interpretations of Object Marking in Bantu Languages. Studies in African Languages 52 (Supplement 14): 78-109 [published version .pdf]

Sikuku, Justine and Michael Diercks. 2021. Object Marking in Lubukusu: Information Structure in the Verb Phrase. In Bickmore, Lee, Michael Cahill, Michael Diercks, Laura J Downing, James Essegbey, Katie Franich, Laura McPherson, and Sharon Rose (eds). Celebrating 50 years of ACAL: Selected Papers from the 50th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Berlin: Language Science Press. [paper .pdf]

Michael Diercks, Marjo van Koppen & Michael Putnam. 2020. Agree probes down: Anaphoric feature valuation and phase reference. In Peter W. Smith, Johannes Mursell & Katharina Hartmann (eds.), Agree to Agree: Agreement in the Minimalist Programme, 347–389. Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.354176 [paper .pdf ]

Bossi, Madeline, & Diercks, Michael. 2019. V1 in Kipsigis: Head movement and discourse-based scrambling. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics4(1): 65. DOI:

Diercks, Michael and Meghana Rao (PO ’17). 2019. Upward-oriented complementizer agreement with subjects and objects in Kipsigis. In Clem, Emily, Peter Jenks, and Hannah Sande (eds.),Theory and description in African Linguistics: Selected papers from the 47th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, 369-393. Berlin: Language Science. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.3365789. [.pdf]

Sikuku, Justine, Michael Diercks, and Michael Marlo. 2018. Pragmatic Effects of Clitic Doubling: Two Kinds of Object Markers in Lubukusu. Linguistic Variation 18.2: 359-429. [prepublication .pdf]

Claire Halpert & Michael Diercks. 2018. More on have and need. In Jason Kandybowicz, Travis Major, Harold Torrence & Philip T. Duncan (eds.), African linguistics on the prairie: Selected papers from the 45th Annual Conference on African Linguistics, 289–305. Berlin: Language Science Press. DOI:10.5281/zenodo.1251742 [.pdf]

Diercks, Michael. 2017. Locative Inversion. Overview article for the Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Syntax, Second Edition. [.pdf ]

Diercks, Michael, Lindsey Meyer (PO ’15), and Mary Paster. 2015. Agreement with conjoined arguments in Kuria. Studies in African Linguistics 44.1: 27-46. [.pdf]

Diercks, Michael, Rodrigo Ranero (PO ’14), and Mary Paster. 2014. Evidence for a Clitic Analysis of Object Markers in Kuria. In Selected Proceedings of the 44th Annual conference on African Linguistics, eds. Ruth Kramer, Elizabeth C. Zsiga, and One Tlale Boyer, 52-70. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project. [.pdf]

Diercks, Michael. 2013. Indirect Agree in Lubukusu complementizer agreement. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 31.2: 357-407. [prepublication draft .pdf]

Carstens, Vicki and Michael Diercks. 2013. Agreeing How? Implications for Theories of Agreement and Locality. Linguistic Inquiry 44.2: 179-237. [prepublication draft .pdf]

Carstens, Vicki and Michael Diercks. 2013. Parameterizing Case and Activity: Hyper-raising in Bantu. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, eds. Seda Kan, Claire Moore-Cantwell, Robert Staubs, 99-118. Amherst: GLSA.[prepublication draft .pdf]

Bax, Anna (PO ’12) and Michael Diercks. 2012. Information Structure Constraints on Object Marking in Manyika. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 30.2: 185-202. [prepublication draft.pdf ]

Diercks, Michael. 2012. Parameterizing Case: Evidence from Bantu. Syntax 15.3: 253-286. [prepublication draft .pdf]

Diercks, Michael. 2011. The morphosyntax of Lubukusu locative inversion and the parameterization of Agree. Lingua 121.5: 702-720. [pre-publication draft .pdf]

Diercks, Michael. 2011. Incorporating location in argument structure: The Lubukusu locative clitic. In Selected Proceedings of the 40th Annual Conference on African Linguistics: African Languages and Linguistics Today, eds Eyamba G. Bokamba, Ryan K. Shosted, and Bezza Tesfaw Ayalew, 65-79. Cascadilla Proceedings Project. [.pdf; proceedings]

Diercks, Michael. 2011. Lubukusu Complementizer Agreement: Binding to Agree. To appear in the Proceedings of NELS 41, UMass GLSA. [superseded by Diercks 2013]

Diercks, Michael. 2009. Subject extraction and (so-called) anti-agreement effects in Bukusu: A Criterial Freezing approach. In Proceedings of Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, Volume 45, Number 1, edited by Ryan Bochnak, Nassira Nicola, Peet Klecha, Jasmin Urban, Alice Lemieux and Christina Weaver, 55-69.
[prepublication draft .pdf]

Diercks, Michael. 2009. Challenges to Case Theory from Bantu. The Georgetown University Working Papers in Theoretical Linguistics VII, edited by L. Krawczyk and C. Hutchinson, 1-42. [superseded by Diercks 2012]

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Unpublished Manuscripts that may be of interest:

*probably permanently unpublished

Diercks, Michael. A Wholesale Late Merger Approach to Clitic Doubling. Ms, Pomona College [Draft Date Oct 2020  lingbuzz ]

Diercks, Michael. 2010. Agreement with Subjects in Lubukusu. Ph.D. dissertation, Georgetown University. [thesis .pdf]

Diercks, Michael and Christopher R. Green. 2018. Clarifying the Position of Preverbal Subjects: Subject Pronoun Doubling in Wanga. [draft date June 2018 .pdf]

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