This page groups my research into categories. For a basic list of publications and manuscripts, go to ‘Publications‘.

My current interests fall into these broad categories:

  • Choctaw morphosyntax
  • The syntax-prosody interface
  • Syntactic microvariation in English


Choctaw morphosyntax

I do frequent fieldwork with speakers of this fascinating language, and I’ve looked at:

  • Case
  • Clitic-doubling and agreement
  • Person-Case Constraint restrictions and repairs
  • External possession
  • Transitives with dative subjects
  • Causatives

Email me for copies of anything!


Tyler, Matthew. 2020. Argument structure and argument-marking in Choctaw. Yale University PhD Thesis.


Tyler, Matthew. Accepted. Two Kinds of External Possession in Mississippi Choctaw. To appear in Syntax.

Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Absolutive Promotion and the Condition on Clitic Hosts in ChoctawNatural Language and Linguistic Theory 37(3), 1145-1203. [lingbuzz (pre-print)]

Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Choctaw as a Window into the Clitic/Agreement Split. Studia Linguistica 73(2), 299-338.


Tyler, Matthew. 2019 (in prep). Dyadic unaccusatives and dependent ergative case.

Tyler, Matthew. 2019 (in prep). Some evidence for structural ergative case

Conference Papers:

Tyler, Matthew. To appear. Ergative-marked internal arguments in Choctaw. In Proceedings of the Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of the Languages of the Americas 24 (WSCLA 24).

Tyler, Matthew. To appear. Differential Object Marking by A’-status. To appear in Proceedings of the North East Linguistic Society 49 (NELS 49). [lingbuzz]

Tyler, Matthew and Michelle YuanNominal-clitic case mismatches. To appear in Proceedings of the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 36).

Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Two kinds of ‘possessor raising’ in Choctaw. In D. K. E. Reisinger & Roger Yu-Hsiang Lo [eds.] Proceedings of the 23rd Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of the Languages of the Americas (WSCLA 23), 106-120. Vancouver, BC: UBCWPL.

Tyler, Matthew. 2019. PCC repair in Basque and Choctaw transitive unaccusatives. In Daniel Edmiston, Marina Ermolaeva, Emre Hakgüder, Jackie Lai, Kathryn Montemurro, Brandon Rhodes, Amara Sankhagowit & Michael Tabatowski [eds.] CLS 53: Proceedings of the Fifty-third Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 397-412. Chicago, IL: The Chicago Linguistic Society.

Tyler, Matthew. 2017. In Choctaw, everyone’s a clitic. In Julia Nee, Margaret Cychosz, Dmetri Hayes, Tyler Lau & Emily Remirez [eds.] Proceedings of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (BLS 43), 497-521. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society.

Presentations and posters:

2020. Applied arguments and A-movement: An insight into nominal licensing from Choctaw. Paper presented at LSA 2020, New Orleans, January 3. [handout]

2020. The status of implicit agents in Choctaw non-active verbs. Paper presented at SSILA 2020, New Orleans, January 2. [handout]

2019. Some evidence for structural ergative case. Paper presented at CLS 55, University of Chicago, May 17. [handout]

2019. The structural ergative of Choctaw. Paper presented at WSCLA 24, University of Maryland, College Park, May 10.

2019. Towards a uniformly structural account of ergative case. Paper presented at Cambridge Comparative Syntax 8 (CamCoS 8), Cambridge, UK. May 3. [handout]

2019. A non-uniform analysis of external possession in Western Muskogean. Paper presented at SSILA 2019, New York City. January 5. [handout]

2018. Characterizing the causative alternation in Choctaw. Invited presentation, Syntax Brown Bag series, NYU, November 16. [handout]

2018. Differential Object Marking by A’-status. Poster to be presented at NELS 49, Cornell University, October 7. [poster]

2018. Thematic and athematic external possession in Choctaw. Poster presented at WCCFL 36, UCLA, April 21.

2018, with Michelle YuanNominal-clitic case mismatches. Paper presented at WCCFL 36, UCLA, April 21. [handout]

2018. Two kinds of “possessor raising” in Choctaw. Paper presented at WSCLA 23, University of Ottawa, April 13. [handout]

2018, with Michelle YuanNominal case and clitic case: Evidence from Choctaw and Yimas. Paper presented at PLC 42, UPenn, March 24.

2018. Dative subjects and nominative objects in Choctaw. Invited presentation at the University of Florida Syntax Reading Group, March 19. [handout]

2018, with Michelle Yuan. Case-assignment before and after clitic doubling: Evidence from Choctaw and Yimas. Poster presented at LSA 2018, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 6.

2017. Choctaw PCC Repair: Basque-style PCC Repair in a language with no dative. Paper presented at CLS 53, University of Chicago, May 25. [handout]

2017. In Choctaw, everyone’s a clitic. Paper presented at BLS 43, UC Berkeley, February 4. [handout]

2017. Variation in Case-assignment by Appl heads: evidence from Basque and Choctaw. Paper presented at LSA 2017, Austin, Texas, January 8. [handout]

2017. Clitic Doubling in Choctaw. Paper presented at SSILA 2017, Austin, Texas, January 6.


The syntax-prosody interface

I’ve been working on an idea that unifies two trends in syntax-prosody interface work that sometimes find themselves at odds. On the one hand, there’s the idea that isomorphism is maximized in the mapping from syntactic to prosodic structure, a recent formalization of this idea being Selkirk’s Match Theory. And on the other hand, there’s the idea that individual lexical items can have idiosyncratic behavior stored in the lexicon. I think that there are insights to be gained by combining the approaches. The evidence I use mainly comes from the domain of English function words.


Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Simplifying Mᴀᴛᴄʜ Wᴏʀᴅ: Evidence from English functional categories. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 4(1): 15. 1–32.


Tyler, Matthew and Itamar Kastner. 2019. Serial verb constructions and the syntax-prosody interface. [lingbuzz]

Presentations and posters:

[2020] with Itamar Kastner. Serialization and the syntax-prosody interface in Degema serial
verb constructions.
Poster to be presented at GLOW 43, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, March 31–April 3.

2020 with Itamar Kastner. Morphology feeds prosody in Degema serial verb constructions: A reply to Rolle (2019). Paper presented at LSA 2020, New Orleans, January 5. [handout]

2018. Mᴀᴛᴄʜ Wᴏʀᴅ does not discriminate between functional and lexical categories. PLC42, UPenn, March 24.

2018. Prosodic subcategorization interacts with Mᴀᴛᴄʜ Wᴏʀᴅ: evidence from English functional categories. Poster presented at LSA 2018, Salt Lake City, Utah, January 5. [poster] [supplement]

2017. Simplifying Mᴀᴛᴄʜ Wᴏʀᴅ: Evidence from English function words. NELS48, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, October 29. [handout]


Syntactic microvariation in English

As part of my work at the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, I’ve looked at several constructions that exhibit inter-speaker variation. The one I’ve worked on most is the have yet to construction (as in “I have yet to graduate from Yale”), with Jim Wood. One of the most important contributions of the project, I believe, is showing that ‘traditional’ syntactic methodology, where native speaker linguists provide introspective judgments, can be productively combined with large-scale acceptability judgement surveys.


Tyler, Matthew and Jim Wood, in press. Microvariation in the Have Yet To ConstructionLinguistic Variation. [pre-publication version]

Conference Papers:

Tyler, Matthew and Jim Wood. 2017. The have yet to Construction: A Microcomparative Account. In Aaron Kaplan, Abby Kaplan, Miranda K. McCarvel, and Edward J. Rubin [eds.] Proceedings of the 34th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 562-571Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.


2016, with Jim Wood. Micro-Variation in the Have Yet To construction. FWAV3, The Graduate Center, CUNY, May 19. [handout]

2016, with Jim Wood. The Have Yet To construction: a micro-comparative account. WCCFL34, University of Utah, April 30.

2016, with Jim Wood. Micro-Variation in the Have Yet To construction. PLC40, UPenn, March 20.

‘Phenomenon pages’ for the YGDP website

Have yet to

Bare got

Try and


Older stuff

I don’t actively work on these things right now, but I have done work on indexical shift in Turkish, English embedded imperatives, and the curious phenomenon known as ‘swiping’.

Conference papers

Tyler, Matthew. 2018. A Locality Restriction on Indexical Shift: Evidence from Turkish. In Faruk Akkuş, İsa Kerem Bayırlı, and Deniz Özyıldız [eds.] Proceedings of the 1st workshop on Turkish, Turkic and the Languages of Turkey (Tu+ 1), 159-160. Amherst, MA: GSLA.

Tyler, Matthew. 2017. Swiping without SluicingUniversity of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 23 (1), 291-300.

Presentations and posters:

2016. Two types of locality in indexical shift. LSA 2016, Washington, D.C., January 8 (poster).

2015. Locality restrictions on indexical shift: Evidence from TurkishWorkshop on Turkish, Turkic and the languages of Turkey (Tu+ 1), UMass Amherst, November 21 (poster).

2015. English embedded imperatives have a context-shifting operator. Colloquium on Generative Grammar 25 (CCG 25), IKER, Bayonne, France, May 22. [handout]