[picture of Annie Zaenen] Annie Zaenen

After spending my youth on worthy but often hopeless political causes and despairing about philosophy in Belgium, in my earlier thirties I discovered Linguistics and went to get my Ph.D at Harvard in 1980 on a dissertation on Extraction Rules in Icelandic. With Joan Maling I focused the attention of the syntax community on phenomena such as Icelandic quirky case proving that the subject of a sentence is not always in the nominative case, notwithstanding pronouncements of some of the Harvard faculty, and showed that Chomsky's ill-advised that-trace filter was certainly not a universal, although there still seem to be syntacticians that live under the illusion that it is. With many others, I turned Perlmutter's pleasantly simple unaccusative hypothesis into the mess that it now is.

On the constructive side, I have contributed to the theory of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG)  in the development of notions such as long-distance dependencies, functional uncertainty and the difference between subsumption and equality. As a frustrated early adopter of Lauri Karttunen's development tools for two-level morphology at Xerox PARC, I managed to create, with help from Carol Neidle, a morphological analyzer for French that, after some revisions, became an Inxight product.

After an adventurous stint as an area manager at the Xerox European Research Center near Grenoble, France, in the 1990s, I have been back in the Bay Area doing research since 2001. I retired from PARC in 2011 and I am now once in a while working at CSLI and teaching Linguistics at Stanford. In 2011, Lauri Karttunen and I taught a course on From Syntax to Natural Logic at the LSA Summer Institute in Boulder. The slides can be found here.

I am the editor of an online CSLI journal, LiLT (Linguistic Issues in Language Technology)

Appointments: Then and Now.

Recent Publications

(with Lauri Karttunen, Stanley Peters, and Cleo Condoravdi) The Chameleon-like Nature of Evaluative Adjectives. In Empirical Issues in Syntax and Semantics 10, ed. Christopher Pin, 233-250, CSSP–CNRS, Paris.

(with Danny Bobrow, Cleo Condoravdi and Raphael Hoffmann) Supporting rule-based representations with corpus-derived lexical information, NAACL 2010 Workshop on Machine Reading.

(with Dick Crouch) OBLs hobble computation, Proceedings of the 2009 LFG conference.

(with Danny Bobrow and Cleo Condoravdi) The encoding of lexical implications in VerbNet; Predicates of change of location , LREC 2008.

Give a penny for their thoughts, Draft, 2007.

Mark-up Barking Up the Wrong Tree Computational Linguistics, 32, 4 (2006).

(with Lauri Karttunen and Richard Crouch) Local Textual Inference: can it be defined or circumscribed? ACL 2005 Workshop on Empirical Modelling of Semantic Equivalence and Entailment. June 30, 2005. Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Counterpoint: Christopher D. Manning. Local Textual Inference: It's hard to circumscribe, but you know it when you see it - and NLP needs it. MS. Stanford University. 2006.

(with Richard Crouch and Lauri Karttunen) Circumscribingis not excluding: A response to Manning. MS. Palo Alto Research Center. 2006.

(with Lauri Karttunen) Veridicity. In Annotating, Extracting and Reasoning about Time and Events. Dagstuhl Seminar Proceedings 05151, G. Katz, J. Pustejovsky, F. Schilder (eds.), Dagstuhl, Germany. 2005.

(with Livia Polanyi) Contextual Valence Shifters. In Computing Attitude and Affect in Text, James G. Shanahan, Yan Qu, Janyce Wiebe (eds.), Springer Verlag, Dordrecht, The Netherlands 2005.

Unaccusativity. In The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, 2nd Edition, Keith Brown (editor-in-chief). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 2005.


Extraction Rules in Icelandic. Garland Publishing, New York, NY, 1985. My 1980 Harvard Ph.D. dissertation.

Books and Collections Edited

(with Philip Tedeschi) Tense and Aspect. Syntax and Semantics, vol. 14. Academic Press, New York, NY, 1981.

(with Joan Maling) Modern Icelandic Syntax. Syntax and Semantics, vol. 24. Academic Press, New York, NY, 1990.

(with M. Dalrymple, R. Kaplan and J. Maxwell) Formal Issues in Lexical Functional Grammar. CSLI Lecture Notes. CSLI Publications, Stanford, CA, 1995.

(with Ronald Cole, Joseph Mariani, Hans Uszkoreit, Giovanni Battista Varile, Antonio Zampolli) Survey of the State of the Art in Human Language Technology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1997.

(with Cleo Condoravdi and Valeria de Paiva) Perspectives on Semantic Representations for Textual Inference CSLI Online Publications. CSLI Publications. Stanford, CA, 2014.

Some Classic Papers

(with Joan Maling) The Nonuniversality of a Surface Filter. Linguistic Inquiry 9(3), 475-497. 1978.

On Syntactic Binding. Linguistic Inquiry, 14(3), 469-504, 1983.

(with J. Maling and H. Thráinsson) Case and Grammatical Functions: The Icelandic Passive. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 3:4, 441-483, 1985.

(with R. Kaplan) Long-distance Dependencies, Constituent Structure, and Functional Uncertainty. In Alternative Conceptions of Phrase Structure, M. Baltin and A. Kroch (eds.). Chicago University Press, Chicago, IL, 1989. (Reprinted in Formal Issues in Lexical Functional Grammar.)

Paper Archive

Annie Zaenen <azaenen@stanford.edu>
Center for the Study of Language and Information
210 Panama Street
Stanford, CA 94305, USA

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