Christopher Comer, Dean
Associate ProfessorEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: Social Sciences 211
Courses I Teach
- LING 270 Introduction to Language
- LING 465 History & Structure of English for Teachers
- LING 474/574 Historical Linguistics
- LING 489/589 Morphology
- LING 570 Seminar: Typology and Universals
- LING 570 Seminar: Cognitive Linguistics
Courses I Have Previously Taught in Other Departments
- PHIL 471 Philosophy of Language
- PHIL 479 Pragmatics
- PHIL 495 Philosophy of Linguistics
- PHIL 501 Emergence and Language
- MCLG 295 Linguistics for Language Majors
- GRK 101 Elementary Greek I
- GRK 102 Elementary Greek II
I am an Associate Professor in the Linguistics Program. I began my academic career as a philosopher interested in linguistics as a higher-level science, with a focus on the foundations of speech perception research. For the past several years, my research has focused on the Kootenai language - a language isolate spoken by a handful of people in Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia in Canada. This project has two central goals: contributing to the documentation of Kootenai by interlinearizing narratives Franz Boas collected and published as Kutenai Tales (1918); and analyzing these texts for what they can tell us about the relationship between grammar and discourse, both in Kutenai and in other languages. I am particularly interested in how our assumptions about the respective domains of grammar and discourse guide, and sometimes misguide, research on language.
- PhD, with Honors, University of Chicago, Philosophy, 1995.
- MA, University of Chicago, Linguistics, 1993.
- MA, University of Chicago, Philosophy, 1989.
- AB, cum laude, Princeton University, Philosophy, 1984.
- Kootenai Language and Linguistics
- Language Documentation
- Grammatical Relations
- Language Typology
- Discourse Analysis
- Foundations of Speech Perception
- Ancient Greek Grammar
Appelbaum, I. (forthcoming). A Discourse Function of the Passive in Kutenai. In Online Proceedings of the 22nd Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of Languages of the Americas (April 21-23, 2017). University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics (UBCWPL). [Some passives in Kutenai have a reference-tracking discourse function and their existence implies that the semantic analysis of passive clauses in Kutenai more generally depends on discourse context.]
Appelbaum, I. (2014). Grammaticalization & Explanation. In Grammaticalization Theory & Data (2014), S. Hancil & E. König (eds.), pp. 41-52. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. [While grammaticalization is not itself a causal mechanism, the concept is not explanatorily empty; instead, it picks out a higher-level, functional class.]
Appelbaum, I. (2012). Result Clauses in Ancient Greek In Selected papers of the 10th International Conference on Greek Linguistics (2012), Z. Gavriilidou, A. Efthymiou, E. Thomadaki & P. Kambakis-Vougiouklis (eds.), pp. 114-121. Komotini, Greece: Democritus University of Thrace. [The distinction between possible and actual results can't be used to distinguish natural and actual result clauses because it doesn't distinguish them: they both presuppose possible results.]
Appelbaum, I. (2004). Two Conceptions of the Emergence of Phonemic Structure. Foundations of Science 9, pp.415-435. [There are two distinct and largely orthogonal conceptions of emergence implicit in Lindblom’s account of the emergence of phonemic structure, which call 'causal emergence' and 'analytic' emergence.]
Appelbaum, I. (2004). Physical Segments and Functional Gestures. In Proceedings of the 2003 Texas Linguistics Society Conference (2004), A. Agwuele, W. Warren, & S. Park (eds.), pp. 1-8. Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
Appelbaum, I. (2000). Merging Information vs. Speech Recognition. Behavioral & Brain Sciences (2000) 23, 3, pp. 325-6. Commentary on D. Norris, J. McQueen, & A. Cutler, Merging Information in Speech Recognition: Feedback is Never Necessary. Behavioral & Brain Sciences (2000) 23, 3, pp. 299-370.
Appelbaum, I. (1999). The Dogma of Isomorphism: A Case Study from Speech Perception. Philosophy of Science 66, 3 (Supplement), pp. 250-259. [A central turning point the history of speech perception research, widely thought to mark a break with what I call 'the alphabetic conception of speech', instead marks its entrenchment.]
Appelbaum, I. (1998). Fodor, Modularity, and Speech Perception. Philosophical Psychology 11, 3, pp. 317-330. [Fodor's attempt to resolve the conflict between the assumption that speech perception is modular and the evidence for top-down processing fails because it undermines his own conception of modularity and it cannot account for the contextually varying topic-down influences that characterize speech perception.]
Appelbaum, I. (1998). The Use of Modularity in Cognitive Science. In A Companion to Cognitive Science (1998), W. Bechtel & G. Graham (eds.), pp. 625-635. Oxford and Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell.
Appelbaum, I. (1998). Analytic Isomorphism and Speech Perception. Behavioral & Brain Sciences (1998) 21, p. 6. Commentary on L. Pessoa, E. Thompson and A. Noë, Finding Out About Filling In: A Guide to Perceptual Completion for Visual Science and the Philosophy of Perception. Behavioral & Brain Sciences (1998) 21, 6, pp. 723-802.
Appelbaum, I. (1996). Aspect in Fox. Contemporary Linguistics 2, pp. 23-46. Chicago: University of Chicago.