Paul Kiparsky

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


Handouts Dissertations
Brief CV Publications


Recent papers, and some older ones (.pdf)

o Retrospect and Prospect. Annual Review of Linguistics, Vol. 9, 2023.

o A Stratal OT Perspective on Vowel Harmony. In Nancy Ritter and Harry v.d. Hulst (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Vowel Harmony. Oxford University Press, 2023.

o Domains of Vowel Harmony. In Nancy Ritter and Harry v.d. Hulst (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Vowel Harmony. Oxford University Press, 2023.

o Interview by Ashwini Deo. 2022. SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics 19,2:117-132.

o Panini. In Elan Dresher and Harry v.d. Hulst (eds.), Handbook of the History of Phonology. Oxford University Press, 2022.

o Phonology to the Rescue: Nez Perce Morphology Revisited. 2021. The Linguistic Review 38(3):391-442.

o Stress, Meter, and Text-setting. In Chen, Aoju and Carlos Gussenhoven (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Language Prosody. 657-675. Oxford University Press, 2020.

o Linguistics Then and Now: The View from NELS. NELS 50: Proceedings of the Fiftieth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, Vol. 2 , 101-118. Ed. by Mariam Asatryan, Yixiao Song, and Ayana Whitmal. UMass GLSA, 2020.

o Metered Verse. 2020. Annual Review of Linguistics, 6: 25-44.

o The Grammar of the Elements. 2019. (with Abhik Ghosh). American Scientist 219: 350-355.

o Morphological Units: Stems. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. 2020.

o Level Ordering and Opacity in Tetsotine: a Stratal OT Account. (With Alessandro Jaker). 2020. Phonology 37(4): 617-655.

o The Rise and Fall of Antimetricality. Scott Borgeson, Arto Anttila, Ryan Heuser, Paul Kiparsky. Draft.

o Morris Halle (1923-2018). Studia Metrica et Phonologica, 5(2): 115-125 (2018).

o Stress, Meter, and Text-setting. In Chen, Aoju and Carlos Gussenhoven (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Language Prosody. 657-675. Oxford University Press, 2020.

o Tone Mapping in Tetsotine (Yellowknife): Level Ordering and Morphologization. (With Alessandro Jaker). 2018. In Jessica Kantarovich, Tran Truong, and Orest Xherija (eds.) CLS 52: Proceedings of the Fifty-second Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society.

o Notes on Finnish Nonfinite Clauses. In Cleo Condoravdi and Tracy King (eds.) Tokens of Meaning: Essays in Honor of Lauri Karttunen. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, 2018.

o Sig and sig själv. Gramino, Oslo 16.5.2018.

o Accent and Ablaut: Emergent Cyclicity. In David M. Goldstein, Stephanie W. Jamison, and Brent Vine (eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference. Bremen: Hempen, 2018.

o Formal and Empirical Issues in Phonological Typology . In Larry Hyman and Frans Plank (eds.) Phonological Typology. Berlin: de Gruyter Mouton, 2018.

o Indo-European Origins of the Greek Hexameter. In Dieter Gunkel and Olav Hackstein (eds.) Sprache und Metrik. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2018.

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

o The Morphology of the Basque Auxiliary: Thoughts on Arregi & Nevins 2012. In Vera Gribanova and Stephanie Shih, The Morphosyntax-phonology Connection: Locality and Directionality at the Interface. Oxford University Press, 2017.

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. 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, 2016.

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

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

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 Indo-European Origins of Germanic Syntax . In Ian Roberts and Adrian Battye (eds.)Clause Structure and Language Change. Oxford University Press, 1994.

o Sprung Rhythm. . In P. Kiparsky and G. Youmans (eds.), Meter and Rhythm. Academic Press, 1989.

o Some Consequences of Lexical Phonology. Phonology Yearbook 2: 85-138, 1985.

o Syllable Structure in Finnish Phonology. With S.J. Keyser. In Aronoff M., Oehrle R. (eds.) Language Sound Structure: Studies in Phonology. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984.

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

o Lexical Morphology and Phonology. . In In-Seok Yang (ed.) Linguistics in the Morning Calm. Seoul, 1982.

o Internal Constituent Structure and Accent in Russian Words (with M. Halle). In E.A. Scatton et. al. (eds.), Studies in Honor of Horace G. Lunt. Slavica, 1979.

o Linguistic Aspects of the Poetic Formula. In Benjamin A. Stoltz and R. Shannon (eds.), Oral Poetry and the Formula. Center for the Coordination of Ancient and Modern Studies, Ann Arbor, 1976.


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)


Ph.D. Dissertations supervised

Scott Borgeson: Long-distance Compensatory Lengthening, (2022). Michigan State University.

Daniel Galbraith: The Predictable Case of Faroese (2018). Amazon Lab126.

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). SOAS World Languages Institute.

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

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

Luc Baronian: North of Phonology (2006). Université du Québec à Chicoutimi.

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). Australian National University.

Shiao Wei Tham: Representing Possessive Predication: Semantic Dimensions and Pragmatic Bases (2004). National University of Singapore.

Ida Toivonen: The Phrase-Structure of Non-Projecting Words (2001). (Co-supervisor: Joan Bresnan). Department of Linguistics, 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). Budapest Institute of Technology, Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

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). Pukyong National University.

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, Creteling 2018, 2019, 2022.

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. Fellowship 1963-64, 1968-69
N.E.H. Fellowship 1976-77
American Institute of Indian Studies Fellowship 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
Honorary Member, Finno-Ugric Society 2015
LSA Fellow 2006-
Stanford Humanities Center Fellow 2007-08
Honorary Ph.D. Konstanz 2008
Honorary Ph.D. Patras 2010
Fellow of the British Academy 2013-
Senior Fellow, Zukunftskolleg Konstanz, 2011-12
Swedish Academy Linguistics Prize 2012
Honorary Member, Philological Society 2015
Brugmann Fellow, Leipzig 2017
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences 2020
Neil and Saras Smith Medal, British Academy 2020

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Last modified Mar 24, 2023