What I’ve been doing

… in the past ten years or so (following up on my  “Restored!” posting). Excluding postings (more on them to come) and publications in print, here are the relevant materials on my website:

Course materials:

My materials on prescriptivism and usage, for two courses I taught Spring Quarter 2004.

Handouts for my Sophomore Seminar “Split infinitives, prepositions at end, and other horrors” in Spring Quarter 2005.

Materials for LSA.376, “Choosing a variant: Unfree variation” at the 2007 Linguistic Institute.

Abstracts for papers:

The abstract for the 1997 Pullum & Zwicky LSA paper “Licensing of prosodic features by syntactic rules: The key to auxiliary reduction”.

An abstract of September 2003 for “Go look at the modern language to test hypotheses about the past”, about the history of the Quasi-Serial Verb construction in English.

An abstract of May 2004 for “The shock of the new: Evaluative adjectives are whack!”.

An abstract of September 2004 for “Learning from split infinitives”.

An abstract of September 2005 for “Forms, constructions, and total syncretism: The case of USETA”.

An abstract of July 2006 for “Extris, extris”, on extra-is constructions in English.

An abstract of August 2006 for “The natural history of snowclones”.

An abstract of August 2006 for “Personal taste and editorial style: however vs. but (by AMZ & Douglas W. Kenter).

An abstract of September 2006 for “Why are we so illuded?”, on misperceptions about variation in language.

An abstract of September 2006 for “Metavariation: Variation in advice on variation” (by Thomas A. Grano & AMZ), on advice about choosing between the determiners much and a lot of.

Handouts for conference papers

The handout for Zwicky & Pullum’s 1996 LSA talk “Functional restriction: English possessives”.

The handout for my 1999 Forum Lecture at the LSA’s Linguistic Institute, on “The grammar and the user’s manual”.

The handout for my 2000 BLS talk (in the version presented later at Stanford) on “Describing syncretism: Rules of referral after fifteen years”.

The handout for a Stanford Syntax Workshop in May 2000, “A-verb-in’ we will go”, on the syntax of a-prefixing of verbs in various Southern varieties of English.

The handout for my 2001 ICCG talk on “Radical constructionism”.

The handout for my 2001 SemFest talk on “Counting Chad”, on the count/mass distinction in English, with special reference to chad, e-mail/email, and ice plant.

The handout for my 2002 NWAV talk on “Seeds of variation and change”.

The handout for a 2002 Stanford talk, “Just how interesting a construction is this? Explorations in the matching of internal and external syntax”.

The handout for my 2002 SemFest talk on “The said and the unsaid”, about material in the Atherton (CA) police blotter.

The handout for my presentation at the 2003 IsisFest, on “double is” in English.

The handout for a 2003 Stanford talk, “Some foundational issues for construction grammar: Mutual definition and cluster concepts”.

The handout for a 2003 talk at Cornell, “Sounding gay”.

The handout for my 2004 SemFest talk, “Isolated NPs”.

The handout for my presentation “Toni Morrison’s genius puts her in the grammar/usage spotlight” at the January 2005 meeting of the American Dialect Society.

The handout for my presentation “How to name a porn star” at the January 2005 meeting of the American Name Society.

The handout for my presentation “Ideal types: peacocks, chameleons, and centaurs” at the March 2005 SemFest (on categorization in general, and categorization of gay men in particular).

The handout for my presentation “Gonna, Auxiliary Reduction, and two modules of syntactic organization” at the 2005 Berkeley Linguistics Society meeting.

The handout for my November 2005 presentation on dangling modifiers at the Stanford Humanities Center.

The handout for a July 2006 presentation by Thomas Grano and AMZ, “Metavariation: Variation in advice on variation”, on much vs. a lot.

The handout for my 2007 SemFest talk, “Extris, extris”, on “extra is” constructions in English.

The handout for a 2007 SemFest talk by AMZ and Douglas Kenter, “Avoid vagueness? The case of sentence-initial linking however”.

The handout for a 2008 SemFest talk, What to blame it on: Diathesis alternations, usage advice, “confusion”, and pattern extension.

The handout for my 2009 SemFest talk, “V + P~Ø” on transitive/intransitive alternations.

The handout for my 2010 SemFest talk, “Brevity plus” on morphological conversions favoring semantic/pragmatic specificity and social specificity as well as brevity.


The August 2006 McConvell/Zwicky bibliography on Isis.

List of blogs and resources in language and linguistics (periodically updated).

Book proposal:

The January 2005 proposal for a book “Adventures in the Advice Trade”.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: