Totem Field Studios
UBC Department of Linguistics
2613 West Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia
In my graduate education at the University of Vienna, I was trained in theoretical linguistics with an emphasis on syntactic theory as well as interface-issues (syntax-morphology, syntax-semantics, and syntax-pragmatics). At this time my primary language focus was on Germanic. After completing my graduate work and a brief visit at the University of California at Southern California I came to the University of British Columbia in 1996 as a postdoctoral researcher. Here I expanded my language specialization to include Upriver Halkomelem (a local First Nations language). This meant breaking into research areas that were completely new to me: I had never done linguistic fieldwork and I had never worked on a non-Indo-European language. These areas, and more recently also the study of Blackfoot (Algonquian), are the ones that still define my research and teaching agenda. As such I am actively contributing to one of our department’s core strength: the integration of linguistic fieldwork and theoretical linguistics.
My current research focuses on the sources and limits of language variation. Over the past 10 years I have investigated a variety of natural language phenomena, including: pronouns, agreement, tense, number, and negation. Behind these surface phenomena, the core question which drives my research is as follows. Under the assumption that there is a genetic predisposition for our language faculty, the comparison of languages which on the surface appear to differ quite radically becomes an important window into the nature of the human language faculty. Though this type of research brings along a methodological difficulty which my research has revealed: on the one hand some categories which appear to be notionally similar across different languages (such as pronouns, plural marking or negation) turn out to differ significantly in their formal and/or functional properties; conversely some categories which appear to be notionally quite different (such as for example tense and location marking) turn out to be formally and functionally equivalent. Given these findings, it becomes essential to develop discovery procedures for determining the formal and functional identity of a given category in any given language in a way which is not determined by notions developed on the basis of the better studied Indo-European languages. I am currently developing such discovery procedures and apply them to the languages I conduct field-work on (Halkomelem and Blackfoot).
LING 447 On the relation between sound, meaning, and categories. (Syllabus available soon)
LING 100 Linguistic Theory and Analysis (2011/12) LING 520 Syntactic Theory (2011/12 LING 431/531: Fieldmethods (Language: Ktunaxa (=Kutenai) 2010/11) LING 530 with Rose-Marie Déchaine: Interface syntax: Pronouns as a case study (2010/11) LING 201 Linguistic Theory and Analysis
LING 502 with Hotze Rullmann Formal Foundations in Syntax and Semantics
LING 520 Syntactic Theory and Analysis
Wiltschko, M. The anatomy of universal categories. Developing discovery procedures Invited talk at NELS 42 Toronto (November 2011)
Wiltschko, M. Decomposing the Mass/Count Distinction Talk presented at the mass/count workshop in Toronto (February 2009)
Wiltschko M. The composition of INFL. An exploration of tense, tenseless languages and tenseless constructions Talk given at MIT (September 2009)
For a complete list of papers Here is my full CV
Christodoulou, Christiana & Wiltschko, M. Function without content: Evidence from Greek Subjunctive na To appear in "Towards a Biolinguistic Understanding of Grammar : Essays on Interfaces'' edited by Anna Maria diSciullio (John Benjamins)
Déchaine, Rose-Marie & Wiltschko, M. Micro-variation in Agreement, Clause-typing and Finiteness:Comparative Evidence from Blackfoot and Plains Cree To appear in the Proceedings of the 42nd Algonquian Conference.
Bliss, Heather; Elizabeth Ritter & M.Wiltschko A Comparative Analysis of Theme Marking in Blackfoot and Nishnaabemwin To appear in the Proceedings of the 42nd Algonquian Conference.
Wiltschko, M. Descriptive Relative Clauses in Austro Bavarian German
Déchaine, Rose-Marie & Wiltschko M. When and why can 1st and 2nd person pronouns be bound variables?
Ritter, Elizabeth & Wiltschko M. The composition of INFL. An exploration of tense, tenseless languages and tenseless constructions
Wiltschko, M. in press Discovery Procedures for functional categories A case study of Salish articles Proceedings of WSCLA 2008.
Wiltschko, M. in press. How do languages classify their nouns? Cross-linguistic variation in the manifestation of the mass/count distinction to appear in Proceedings of WSCLA 2009
Wiltschko, M. (2009) ‘What's in a determiner and how did it get there?’ In: J.Ghomeshi, I. Paul, M. Wiltschko (eds). Determiners: universals and variation. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 25-66.
Ritter, E. & Wiltschko, M. (2009) ‘Varieties of INFL: TENSE, LOCATION, and PERSON.’ In: H. Broekhuis., J. Craenenbroeck, H. van Riemsdijk (eds.) Alternatives to Cartography. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter
Wiltschko, M. 2009. ‘√Root incorporation. Evidence from Halkomelem lexical suffixes’ Lingua, 119, 199-223 published online December 21, 2007
Wiltschko, M. (2008) ‘The syntax of non-inflectional plural marking’ Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 26.3. 639-694
Wiltschko, M. (2008) ‘Person hierarchy effects without a person hierarchy.’In: G. Hrafn Hrafnbjargarson, R. d'Allessandro, & S. Fischer (eds.) Agreement restrictions. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter: 281-314.
O. Steriopolo & M.Wiltschko. 2007. ‘Parameters of variation in the syntax of diminutives’In: Milica Radisic (ed.) Proceedings of the 2007 Canadian Linguistics Association Annual Conference
Elouazizi, N. & M. Wiltschko. 2006. ‘The categorial status of (anti-) (anti-) agreement’ In: D. Baumer, D. Montero, and M. Scanlon (eds.) Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 2006), Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA: 150-158.
Wiltschko, M. 2006. ‘Why should diminutives count?’In: Broekhuis, H., N. Corver, R. Huijbregts, U. Kleinhenz & J. Koster (eds.) Organizing Grammar. Linguistic Studies in Honor of Henk van Riemsdijk. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter: 669-679. [by invitation].
Wiltschko, M. 2006. ‘C-selection is unique’ In: D.Baumer, D.Montero, and M.Scanlon (eds.) Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 2006) Cascadilla Proceedings Project, Somerville, MA: 444-452.
Wiltschko, M. 2006 ‘On Ergative Areement and Anti-Agreement in Halkomelem Salish.’ In: S. Bischoff, L. Butler, P. Norquest, & D. Siddiqi (eds.) Studies in Salishan. Massachussetts Institute of Technology Working Papers on Endangered and Less Familiar Languages 7: 241-273.
Wiltschko, M. 2005. ‘The syntax of precategorial roots’ In: Armoskaite, S. & J. Thompson (eds.) Proceedings of the Tenth Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of the Americas (WSCLA 10). University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 17: 245-258.