Research areas:

  • French linguistics
  • Syntax
  • History of French (including Occitan)

I am interested in understanding how and why language changes, and particularly in changes in syntactic systems (= changes in word order or in relations among parts of sentences). Although observation of contemporary variation and change-in-progress is important to my work, my primary focus is the 1200-year history of written French, a time period that is large enough for us to see the reflection of major upheavals in grammatical patterns.


  • France
  • Language
  • Linguistics
  • Medieval
European Studies, Italian, French, Linguistics
PhD, Cornell University, 1989
MA, Cornell University, 1981
AB, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1979
algeria cameroon canada france french guiana haiti ivory coast luxembourg mali monaco morocco niger senegal switzerland tunisia zaire french language or literature italian language or literature