Papers and Handouts

  1. Current Projects
  2. Manuscripts
  3. Publications

Current Projects

My main current project is formerly-NSF-sponsored research to document and describe four Luyia (Bantu) languages spoken in Western Kenya (Tone and Structure in Luyia). Research at Pomona is currently underway on Bukusu, Wanga, Tiriki, and Logoori to write a grammar or grammar sketch of each language (details and progress here). In addition, together with the team we are producing intensive syntactic investigations of object marking and hyper-raising.

The interface of information structure and syntax in Luyia Object Marking. Work is ongoing in Lubukusu, Tiriki, and Wanga currently. See this ACAL proceedings paper draft for recent developments.

Raising in Luyia, a book project in development, including:

  • Hyper-raising in Logoori, with Cliff Mountjoy-Venning (former Pomona College student). His undergraduate thesis is the basis of a Llogoori hyper-raising work to be published as part of the larger Luyia project.
  • Hyper-raising in Tiriki, with Kristen Hernandez (former Pomona College student).
  • Hyper-raising in Wanga, with Evan Iliakis (former Pomona College student).
  • Multiple subject constructions in Luyia, including subject pronoun doubling in Luyia (write-up of Wanga is here.)
  • Luyia (null) expletives

Adverbials in Lubukusu, with Aggrey Wasike (University of Toronto). The ACAL handout is here

A grammar of Tiriki. With Michael Marlo.

A grammar of Wanga. with Christopher Green and Michael Marlo.

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Diercks, Michael and Madeline Bossi. Minimalist Syntax is psychologically real: Lessons from (counter)cyclicity. Ms, Pomona College and UC Berkeley. [Draft Date Jan 2021 lingbuzz  .pdf ]

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

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

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. [draft date March 2018 .pdf ]

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 ]

Sikuku, Justine and Michael Diercks. 2020. Object Marking in Bukusu: Information Structure in the Verb Phrase. To appear in the Proceedings of ACAL 50. [Draft date August 2020 .pdf]

Wasike, Aggrey and Michael Diercks. 2021. Lubukusu Adverbials. Ms, University of Toronto and Pomona College. [Draft date August 2020 .pdf forthcoming (please email me to request a copy)]

Sikuku, Justine and Michael Diercks. 2021. Object Marking in Bukusu: At the interface of pragmatics and syntax. Ms, Moi University and Pomona College. [as of Jan 2021 manuscript is almost ready for sharing, but not quite. coming soon.]


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. 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. [Downloadable from Language Science Press (.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, and Mary Paster. 2015. Agreement with conjoined arguments in Kuria. Studies in African Linguistics 44.1: 27-46. [.pdf]

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

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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