Maria Polinsky

Professor of Linguistics

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Carl Pillot, Greg Scontras, and Lauren Clemens have developed response-time recording functionality for the web-based experiment software Experigen (Becker & Levine 2010). This functionality is included in the latest build of Experigen, which can be downloaded for free through the following link: Experigen.

For a start-to-finish guide to developing your own experiment using ExperigenRT, download this file. In it, you will find a ready-to-use experiment template, together with instructions for modifying the template to fit your needs (SETUP.txt), and a guide for publishing the experiment on the Harvard webspace (HOW_TO_SET_UP_FAS WEB_HOSTING.txt). You will also find the code for retrieving the results of your experiment using the statistical software R (getresults.R).


I work on Agreement in various languages. Here are some of my recent publications:

Agreement in Archi from a Minimalist Perspective” from Oxford University Press

     “Biabsolutives in Archi” from the proceedings of LSA 88

Dagestanian Research

Here is some work that I have done on Dagestanian languages:

For more information, please visit my Publications page.

Georgian Research

Coming soon

Mayan Research

Here is some of the research I have done on Mayan languages:

For more information, please visit my Publications page.

Polynesian Research

Here is some research I have done related to Polynesian languages:

For more information, please see my Publications page.

Heritage Languages

I work on finding the structural differences between monolingual and bilingual grammars in the heritage languages of the world. Here you can find some work that I have done on this topic:

Revisiting Inverse Scope: an Experimental Study of Chinese and English

    “Structure vs. Use in Heritage Language” from Linguistics Vanguard

    “Heritage Language and Linguistic Theory” from Frontiers in Psychology


I work on syntactic ergativity in a variety of languages. Below you can find some examples of my work:

Antipassive” from the Oxford Handbook of Ergativity

Syntactic Ergativity” from The Blackwell Companion to Syntax

Deconstructing Ergativity: Two Types of Ergative Language” from Oxford University Press

Ergativity and the Complexity of Extracton: A View from Mayan” from Natural Language and Linguistic Theory

Tsez Syntax” personal manuscript




  • Polinsky M. Relativization in Chukchi. In collection: Aronson, Howard (ed.), Papers from the 7th Conference on the Non-Slavic Languages of the USSR. . 1994. Chicago University Press, Chicago.





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