Ryan Walter Smith

About Ryan Walter Smith

Fourth Year PhD Student

My primary interests are in formal semantics, pragmatics, and syntactic theory. Within this area, topics I've worked on include: the semantics of associative and similative plurals and non-exhaustive expressions, concentrating in particular on their manifestations in Japanese (in collaboration with Ryoichiro Kobayashi) and in Persian; ellipsis, especially argument ellipsis and VPE/Pseudogapping in light verb constructions; the semantics of small clauses and their interaction with the lexical semantics of verbs of perception and mental imagery; deriving constraints on coordinate syntax.

I also do elicitation work with speakers of various Iranian languages, including Persian, Sorani and Kurmanji Kurdish, Hawrami, Zazaki, and Ossetian, as part of the Complex Predicates Research Group (PI: Dr. Simin Karimi). We are interested in several aspects of complex predicates/light verb constructions in these languages, including their behavior in several types of ellipsis, their passivization possibilities, their separability, and light verb alternations, among other topics. The ultimate goal is to construct a database of these expressions, noting cross-linguistic generalizations and differences.

Outside of syntax/semantics, I have also worked in morphophonology, particularly on non-concatenative morphological processes like reduplication, truncation and root and pattern morphology. With Skye Anderson, I have worked on reduplicative morphology in Tohono O'odham, and have developed a non-templatic approach to reduplication in the framework of Harmonic Serialism.

Areas of Study

Associative and similative plurality

The semantics of non-exhaustive particles (ya/toka/tari, etc.) in Japanese 

Ellipsis (especially argument ellipsis and ellipsis in complex predicates)

Alternative semantics

Japanese syntax, morphology, and semantics

Syntax morphology and semantics in the Iranian languages (Persian, Kurdish, Zazaki)

The syntax and semantics of small clauses (especially small clause complements to perceptual verbs)

The syntax and semantics of the English bare infinitive

The structure of English 'have'

Non-concatenative morphophonology (reduplication, truncation, etc.)

Projects

Similative, associative, and non-exhaustive expressions

-Japanese -ya/-toka/-tari and -tachi (w/ Ryoichiro Kobayashi); Reduplication in Persian

Nominal ellipsis, including argument ellipsis as a special case

-Structural sensitivity of strict/sloppy interpretations in DP and DP-internal ellipsis

Ellipsis in complex predicates/compound verbs

A non-templatic approach to reduplication in Harmonic Serialism (w/ Skye Anderson)

Research assistant for project on the micro-comparative syntax of complex predicates in Iranian languages (PI:Simin Karimi)

Related News

Research Interests

Formal Semantics, Syntactic Theory, Pragmatics

 

Areas of Study

Associative and similative plurality

The semantics of non-exhaustive particles (ya/toka/tari, etc.) in Japanese 

Ellipsis (especially argument ellipsis and ellipsis in complex predicates)

Alternative semantics

Japanese syntax, morphology, and semantics

Syntax morphology and semantics in the Iranian languages (Persian, Kurdish, Zazaki)

The syntax and semantics of small clauses (especially small clause complements to perceptual verbs)

The syntax and semantics of the English bare infinitive

The structure of English 'have'

Non-concatenative morphophonology (reduplication, truncation, etc.)

Selected Publications

Smith, Ryan Walter, Nabors, Rana, Mahdavi Mazdeh, Mohsen, Karimi, Simin, and Harley, Heidi (to appear). "Parallelism and specificity in Persian non-verbal element ellipsis." To appear in Proceedings of GLOW in Asia XI.

Smith, Ryan Walter and Kobayashi, Ryoichiro (to appear) "Focusing on Coordination: the case of Japanese -toka and -tari." To appear in Proceedings of GLOW in Asia XI.

Kobayashi, Ryoichiro and Smith, Ryan Walter (to appear). "Conjunctive or Disjunctive? On the Syntax/Semantics of -toka/-tari in Japanese." To appear in Proceedings of ConSOLE XXV. 

Anderon, Skye, and Smith, Ryan Walter (2017). “Non-templatic plural reduplication in Tohono O’odham.” In Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL), Cascadilla Press.

Anderson, Skye and Smith, Ryan Walter (2017). “Plural Reduplication in Tohono O’odham: an analysis in Harmonic Serialism.” To appear in Proceedings of the 21st Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of Languages of the Americas (WSCLA), UBC Working Papers in Linguistics.

Ryan Walter Smith's picture

Contact Information

Ryan Walter Smith
Graduate Teaching/Research Associate
Telephone: 214-709-4390
Office: Communication 114D (Syntax Lab)

Degree(s)

2017 MA in Linguistics, University of Arizona

2014 BA in Linguistics, with minors in Japanese and Anthropology, Honors with Distinction, Baylor University

Courses Taught

LING 300-Introduction to Syntax (TA) (Spring 2015; Spring 2018)

LING 503-Syntax I (TA) (Fall 2017)

LING 211-Meaning in Language and Society (Instructor of Record) (Summer I 2017)

LING 211-Meaning in Language and Society (TA) (Spring 2017)

LING 150A1-Language Honors (TA) (Fall 2014, Fall 2016)

LING 150A1-Language (TA) (Fall 2015)