Paul Kiparsky

Robert M. and Anne T. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences
Department of Linguistics
Stanford University Email:

Handouts Courses Workshops
(with Photos)
Brief CV Publications


Recent papers, and some older ones (.pdf)

o Nominal Verbs and Transitive Nouns: Vindicating Lexicalism. 2017.

o The Morphology of the Basque Auxiliary: Thoughts on Arregi & Nevins 2012. 2016. In Vera Gribanova and Stephanie Shih, The morphosyntax-phonology connection: locality and directionality at the interface. Oxford University Press.

o Labov, Sound Change, and Phonological Theory. Journal of Sociolinguistics 20/4, 2016: 464–488.

o The Agent Suffixes as a Window into Vedic Grammar. 2016. In Dieter Gunkel, Joshua T. Katz, Brent Vine, and Michael Weiss (eds.) Sahasram Ati Srajas. Indo-Iranian and Indo-European Studies in Honor of Stephanie W. Jamison. Ann Arbor and New York, Beech Stave Press.

o Formal and Empirical Issues in Phonological Typology . 2015. To appear in Larry Hyman and Frans Plank (eds.) Phonological Typology.

o Stratal OT: A synopsis and FAQs. 2015. In Yuchau E. Hsiao and Lian-Hee Wee (eds.) Capturing Phonological Shades. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

o Phonologization. 2015. In Honeybone, Patrick and Joseph Salmons (eds.) Handbook of Historical Phonology Oxford University Press. 2015.

o Indo-European Origins of the Greek Hexameter. 2015. To appear in Dieter Gunkel and Olav Hackstein (eds.) Sprache und Metrik.

o New perspectives in historical linguistics. In Claire Bowern (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics. 2015.

o Towards a null theory of the passive. Lingua 125: 7-33, 2013. Available online at

o Grammaticalization as optimization. 2012. In Dianne Jonas, John Whitman and Andrew Garrett (eds.) Grammatical Change: Origins, Nature, Outcomes., OUP.

o Greek Anaphora in Cross-Linguistic Perspective. Journal of Greek Linguistics 12: 84-117, 2012. Available online at

o Semantics of inflection, with Judith Tonhauser. In Maienborn, Claudia, Klaus von Heusinger and Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2012: 2070-2097

o On Panini and the Generative Capacity of Contextualized Replacement Systems With Gerald Penn. COLING 2012: 943-950.

o Panini, Variation, and Orthoepic Diaskeuasis. AS/EA 66:327-335, 2012.

o Poetries in Contact: Arabic, Persian, and Urdu. With Ashwini Deo. In M. Lotman (ed.) Frontiers of Comparative Metrics. Bern,New York: Peter Lang, 2011.

o Compositional vs. Paradigmatic Approaches to Accent and Ablaut. A slightly shorter version appears in Stephanie W. Jamison, H. Craig Melchert, and Brent Vine (eds.) Proceedings of the 21st Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference., Bremen: Hempen, 2010.

o Compensatory lengthening. In Handbook on the Syllable, ed. by C. Cairns and E. Raimy. Leiden: Brill, 2010.

o Reduplication in Stratal OT. In Linda Uyechi and Lian Hee Wee (eds.) Reality Exploration and Discovery: Pattern Interaction in Language & Life. (Festschrift for K.P. Mohanan), 2010.

o Dvandvas, blocking, and the associative: the bumpy ride from phrase to word. Language, 2010.

o Review of N. Fabb & M. Halle, Meter in Poetry. Language, Dec. 2009.

o Syncope, Umlaut, and Prosodic Structure in Early Germanic. Unpublished, 2009.

o Verbal co-compounds and subcompounds in Greek. MIT Working Papers in Linguistics 57, 2009.

o Universals constrain change, change results in typological generalizations. In Jeff Good, (ed.) Linguistic universals and language change, OUP 2008.

o Fenno-Swedish Quantity: Contrast in Stratal OT. Andrew Nevins and Bert Vaux (eds.), Rules, constraints, and phonological phenomena. OUP, 2008.

o Panini is slick, but he isn't mean. Nagoya Studies in Indian Culture and Buddhism: Sambhasa 26: 1-28, 2007.

o Amphichronic linguistics vs. Evolutionary Phonology. Theoretical Linguistics, 32: 217-236, 2006.

o Livonian stød. To appear in Paul Boersma, Marc van Oostendorp, Ben Hermans, and Wolfgang Kehrein (ed.), Segments and Tone (Niemeyer).

o The extended siddha-principle. (With S.D.Joshi). Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 2005, 1-26 (2006).

o A Modular Metrics for Folk Verse. In B. Elan Dresher and Nila Friedberg (eds.) Formal approaches to poetry, 7-49. Mouton, 2006.

o Tracking Jespersen's cycle (with Cleo Condoravdi). In Janse, M., B.D. Joseph, and A. Ralli (edd.) Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Modern Greek Dialects and Linguistic Theory. Mytilene: Doukas, 2006

o Iambic inversion in Finnish. In Mickael Suominen et al. (edd.) A Man of Measure : Festschrift in Honour of Fred Karlsson on his 60th Birthday, p. 138-148. Turku: The Linguistic Association of Finland, 2006.

o Where Stochastic OT fails: a discrete model of metrical variation. BLS, 2005.

o The Vedic injunctive: Historical and synchronic implications. The Yearbook of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, 2005.

o Clitics and clause structure: The Late Medieval Greek system. Journal of Greek Linguistics, 5: 159-183, 2004.

o Blocking and periphrasis in inflectional paradigms. (MMM 4, Catania 2003.) Yearbook of Morphology 2004, 113-135, 2005. Dordrecht: Springer.

o The Germanic weak preterite. In Steinkrüger, Patrick O. and Manfred Krifka (ed.), On Inflection . Berlin, New York (Mouton de Gruyter) 2009.

o Towards a Typology of Disharmony (with Karl Pajusalu). The Linguistic Review 20:217-241 (2003).

o Finnish Noun Inflection. In Diane Nelson and Satu Manninen (eds.) Generative Approaches to Finnic Linguistics. CSLI, 2003.

o Accent, syllable structure, and morphology in Ancient Greek.. In Elizabeth Mela Athanasopoulou (ed.) Selected Papers from the 15th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics. Thessaloniki, 2003.

o On the Architecture of Panini's Grammar. Three lectures delivered at the Hyderabad Conference on the Architecture of Grammar, Jan. 2002, and at UCLA, March 2002.

o Disjoint Reference and the Typology of Pronouns. In Ingrid Kaufmann and Barbara Stiebels (eds.), More than Words. Studia Grammatica 53, pp. 179-226. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 2002.

o Clitics and Clause Structure (with Cleo Condoravdi). Journal of Greek Linguistics, 2:1-39, 2002.

o Syllables and Moras in Arabic. In C. Fery and R. Vijver (ed.) The Syllable in Optimality Theory. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

o Event Structure and the Perfect. In David I. Beaver, Luis D. Casillas Martínez, Brady Z. Clark, and Stefan Kaufmann, The Construction of Meaning. CSLI Publications, 2002.

o Structural Case in Finnish. Lingua 111.315-376, 2001.

o Opacity and Cyclicity. The Linguistic Review 17:351-367, 2000.

o Analogy as Optimization. In Aditi Lahiri (ed.) Analogy, Levelling, Markedness. Principles of Change in Phonology and Morphology. Trends in Linguistics. Studies and Monographs 127. Mouton de Gruyter, 2000.

o Aspect and Event Structure in Vedic. Yearbook of South Asian Languages and Linguistics, 1998.

o Partitive Case and Aspect. In Miriam Butt and Wilhelm Geuder (eds.) The Projection of Arguments. CSLI, 1998.

o Sievers' Law as Prosodic Optimization. In Jay Jasanoff, H. Craig Melchert, and Lisi Olivier (eds.) Mir Curad: Studies in Honor of Calvert Watkins. Innsbruck, 1998.

o Remarks on Denominal Verbs. In Alex Alsina, J. Bresnan and P. Sells (eds.), Argument Structure. Stanford: CSLI, 1997.

o The Rise of Positional Licensing. In Ans van Kemenade and Nigel Vincent (eds.), Parameters of Morphosyntactic Change. Oxford University Press. 1997.

o The nature of verse and its consequences for the mixed form (with Kristin Hanson). In J. Harris and T. Ziolkowski (eds.), Prosimetrum: Cross-cultural perspectives on narrative in prose and verse. Cambridge: Brewer. 1997.

o The Shift to Head-Initial VP in Germanic. In H. Thrainsson, J. Peter, and S. Epstein (eds.), Comparative Germanic Syntax. Kluwer, 1996.

o Paninian Linguistics. Encyclopedia of Languages and Linguistics. 1993.

o Economy and the construction of the Sivasutras. In M. M. Deshpande and S. Bhate (eds.), Paninian Studies. Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1991.

o Word-formation and the Lexicon. . In F. Ingemann (ed.) Proceedings of the Mid-America Linguistics Conference. Lawrence, Kansas, 1982.


Handouts (.pdf)

A few handouts and slides that I sometimes get asked for.

o Meter and performance. LSA meter symposium, Baltimore Jan. 8, 2010.

o Panini's Razor. Symposium on Sanskrit and Computational Linguistics, Paris, Oct. 29-31, 2007. Streaming video.

o An OT approach to phonological variation. Rutgers Optimality Workshop, 1993. Also presented at NWAVE 1994 (Stanford).

o Remarks on markedness. TREND (Trilateral Phonology Weekend), Santa Cruz, 1994.

o Absolutely a Matter of Degree: The Semantics of Structural Case in Finnish. CLS, 2005.

o Grammaticalization. (Slides for Leverhulme Change/Evolution Workshop, London, Dec. 16 2006)

o Description and explanation: English revisited. (Slides for the LSA panel on the current state of phonology, Anaheim, Jan. 5, 2007)



Linguistics 160. Historical Linguistics (Winter 2006)


Linguistics 200. Foundations of Linguistic Theory

Syllabus and downloadable readings

Linguistics 207A. Morphology (Winter 2005, with Arto Anttila)

How morphology fits into the lexicon and how the lexicon fits into grammar. Inflection and word-formation: blocking, productivity, analogy. Morphological categories. The interaction of morphology with phonology within the lexicon: level ordering, prosodic morphology. Optimality Theory. Review of English morphology and analysis of representative material from languages with richer morphologies.


Linguistic 207B. Morphosyntax

The role of morphology in grammar: how word structure serves syntax in the expression of meaning. Universal properties and typology of morphological categories; proposals towards their principled explanation in a restrictive theory of language.

Linguistics 211 (was 108A/208A). Seminar in Phonology

This fall the topic will be Stratal OT. Other topics in recent years have been Metrical Phonology (2003), and Metrics (2004).

Metrics syllabus

Linguistics 214. Phonology Research Seminar

Linguistics 260A. Historical Morphology and Phonology

To be taught Spring 2006.

LSA.110. Historical Phonology

Linguistic Institute. Cambridge, Mass., June-July 2005


Linguistics 260B: Historical Morphosyntax (Spring 2007)

Morphological and syntactic variation and change. Reanalysis, grammaticalization. The use of corpora and quantitative evidence.

Syllabus and downloadable readings

From time to time I teach seminars on the following topics: Panini and Sanskrit grammar, Language and Nation, Poetics.

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Panini Workshop 2002

A workshop in honor of the great Panini scholar S.D. Joshi. Among the presenters were former students of his who wished to celebrate his fifty years of inspired teaching.

Program Photos

Poetics Workshop 2004-5

Sponsored by the Stanford Humanities Center, this workshop brought together poets, linguists, and musicians, in a series of encounters that combined performance with discussion of topics of common concern. A concurrent seminar and a concluding Poetics Fest provided additional opportunity for debate and a venue for students and faculty to present their current work.

Events Poetics Fest Photos

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Dissertations supervised

Alex Jaker: Prosodic Reversal in Dogrib (Weledeh Dialect.) (2011). Goyatiko Language Society, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Postdoctoral fellow, Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska.

Elizabeth Norcliffe: Head-marking and dependency resolution: A study of variation in Yucatec Maya (2009). Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.

Lev Blumenfeld: Constraints on phonological interactions (2006). Department of Linguistics, Carleton University.

Ashwini Deo: Tense and aspect in Indo-Aryan languages: Variation and diachrony (2006). Department of Linguistics, Yale University.

Luc Baronian: North of Phonology (2006). Department of Linguistics, Boston University.

Brady Zack Clark: A Stochastic Optimality Theory Approach to Syntactic Change (2004). (Co-supervisor: Elizabeth Traugott). Department of Linguistics, Northwestern University.

Cathryn Donohue: Morphology Matters: Case Licensing in Basque (2004). Department of Linguistics, University of Nevada, Reno.

Shiao Wei Tham: Representing Possessive Predication: Semantic Dimensions and Pragmatic Bases (2004). Wellesley College.

Ida Toivonen: The Phrase-Structure of Non-Projecting Words (2001). (Co-supervisor: Joan Bresnan). Carleton University, Ottawa.

Michael Getty: A Constraint-Based Approach to the Meter of Beowulf (1998). (Co-supervisor: Orrin W. Robinson).

Arto Anttila: Variation in Finnish Phonology and Morphology (1997). Stanford University.

Vivienne Fong: The Order of Things: What Directional Locatives Denote (1997). Stanford University.

Brett Kessler: Estimating the Probability of Historical Connections Between Languages (1997). Washington University, St. Louis.

Chang Yong Sohn: The Metrical Structure of Beowulf (1997). Seoul National University, Korea.

Jennifer Cole: The Prosodic Domain Hierarchy in Reduplication (1994).

Christopher Pinon: An Ontology for Event Semantics (1994). Université de Lille).

Eunjoo Han: Prosodic Structure in Compounds (1993). Seoul Women's University, Korea.

Linda Uyechi: The Geometry of Visual Phonology (1993). Stanford University.

Michael Inman: Semantics and Pragmatics of Colloquial Sinhala Involitive Verbs (1992). Sehda, Inc., Menlo Park, California.

Andras Kornai: Formal Phonology (1991). Chief Scientist, Northern Light Technology.

Henry Smith: Restrictiveness in Case Theory (1991). Harvard University.

Stephen Wechsler: Argument Structure and Linking (1991). University of Texas, Austin.

Abdullahi Bature†: Thematic Arguments and Semantic Roles in Hausa (1991). Bayero State University, Nigeria.

Young-Mee Yu Cho: Parameters of Consonantal Assimilation (1990). Rutgers University.

Kristin Hanson: Resolution in Modern Meters (1990). University of California, Berkeley.

John Stonham: Current Issues in Morphological Theory (1990). University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Sharon Inkelas: Prosodic Constituency in the Lexicon (1988). University of California, Berkeley.

Jonni Kanerva: Focus and Phrasing in Chichewa Phonology (1988). InXight, Palo Alto.

Draga Zec: Sonority Constraints on Prosodic Structure (1987). Cornell University.

Douglas Pulleyblank: Tone in Lexical Phonology (1983). University of British Columbia.

Lauri Carlson: Dialogue Games: An Approach to Discourse Analysis (1982). University of Helsinki.

Nicholas Ostler: Case-Linking: A Theory of Case and Verb Diathesis, Applied to Classical Sanskrit (1979). Linguacubun Ltd., Foundation for Endangered Languages.

Daniel Kahn: Syllable-Based Generalizations in English Phonology (1976). E-Speech Corporation.

Robert Rardin: Studies in Derivational Morphology (1975).

Tony Kroch: The Semantics of Scope in English (1974). University of Pennsylvania.

Sylvia Permesly: Some Aspects of Presupposition in Generative Grammar (1973).

Irwin Howard: A Directional Theory of Rule Application in Phonology (1972).

Emily Pope†: Questions and Answers in English (1972).

George Williams: Networks of Anaphora: An Essay in the Syntax of Pronominalization (1971). (Co-supervisor: J.R. Ross).

John Kimball†: Categories of Meaning (1970).

Anthony Naro: The History of Portuguese Passives and Impersonals (1968). Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro.

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Brief CV

*28.1.1941, Helsinki, Finland.


1948-52 Deutsche Schule, Helsinki.
1952-55 King Edward's School, Birmingham.
1955-58 Helsingin Normaalilyseo, Helsinki.
1958-59 Alabama College (now University of Montevallo).
1960-61 University of Helsinki. (B.A. 1961)
1961-62 University of Minnesota. (M.A. 1962)
1962-65 M.I.T. (Ph.D. 1965)


1965-84 M.I.T.
1984- Stanford.

Also: UCLA Linguistic Institute 1966, Stockholm and Gothenburg 1968, Brown University 1970 and 1971, Ohio State University Linguistic Institute 1970, University of Michigan Linguistic Institute 1973 (Collitz chair), Salzburg Linguistic Institute 1982, Consultant to Xerox PARC 1983-86, Stanford Linguistic Institute 1987, Scandinavian Summer School in Linguistics, Melbu, Norway 1993, Copenhagen Summer School in Computational Linguistics 1994, Cornell Linguistic Institute 1997, Scandinavian Summer School in Generative Phonology, Hvalfjardarströnd, Iceland, June 1997, MIT Linguistic Institute 2005, Stanford Linguistic Institute 2007, Berkeley Linguistic Institute 2009.

Research Elsewhere

C.A.S.S. and Deccan College, Pune, India 1968-69, 1976-77, CSLI and Xerox PARC 1983-85, Wissenschaftskolleg Berlin 1991-92, Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft, Berlin 1993, 1994, Tartu and Setomaa, Estonia 2000, 2001, Kozani, 2001, Stanford Humanities Center, 2007-2008, Zukunftskolleg Konstanz, 2011.

Fellowships, Awards

A.C.L.S. 1963-64, 1968-69, N.E.H. 1976-77, A.I.I.S 1976-77, Institute of Advanced Studies, Berlin, 1991-92, Humboldt Fellowship 1993, Twinning Grant 2000, Rishi Prize 1981, Honorary Ph.D. Gothenburg 1985, Bass Chair 1992, Humboldt Prize 1993, University of Helsinki President's Medal 1997, Erskine Fellow, University of Canterbury 2005, LSA Fellow 2006, Stanford Humanities Center Fellow 2007-08, Honorary Ph.D. Konstanz 2008, Honorary Ph.D. Patras 2010, Fellow of the British Academy 2010, Senior Fellow, Zukunftskolleg Konstanz, 2011, Swedish Academy Linguistics Prize, 2012.

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