Michal Starke



Developing nanosyntax, a new approach to the architecture of language, rethought from scratch based on the result of the last decades of syntactic research and the growing structuralisation of semantics. In essence, we have concluded that syntax is able to reach inside the guts of single morphemes, merging individual features together. The lexicon stores those morphemes, words and idioms as full-fledged syntactic trees. Beyond the technicalities, nanosyntax brings a fresh and exciting view of language, its relationship to thought and other mental components. Some relevant papers: Pantcheva 2011 on paths, Wiland 2011 on prefix syncretism, Starke 2011 on parameters, Caha 2010 on the decomposition of case, Starke 2009 on the basics of Nanosyntax.


As an experiment, I am starting "weblabs" on nanosyntax, a sort of online work group that meets regularly and works together on nano issues. The first experimental weblab will run for 6 weeks, starting on the week of November 5th and concluding on the week of December 10th, with weekly meetings. [more..]

EGG schools

For many many years now, I have been organizing the jumpy EGG summerschool in linguistics: it's free (and the dorm will cost you only 100E for two weeks!), it's fun, it's hot. Our motto: cutting edge research with cutting edge parties. It takes place every summer, usually in Eastern Europe. 2012 has taken place Wroclaw (Poland), 2011 in Ceske Budejovice (Czech), 2010 in Constanta (Romania), etc. The next edition is still up for adoption.


I created LingBuzz, the open archive of linguistics articles and have been maintaining it for 8 years. LingBuzz has syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology, etc and also aggregates the semantics archive and ROA. Its most loved feature is that it provides a "top-10 most downloaded articles" for every disciplines, which updates in real time as people go clicking.

Research Highlights

2012. Working with Andrea Markus on causative/inchoative syncretisms and decomposition in Hungarian. 2011. A new approach to parameters, hopefully solving the question of how to implement parameters, without any stipulative features such as 'edge' or 'strong' or 'epp', and without stipulating a list of operations that each parameter triggers. 2009. Working with Caha on what ended up being his wonderful work on decomposing case morphemes and getting their syncretisms right. 2004. Arguing that there is no such thing as a specifier. What you think of as specifiers are in fact phrasal heads which project their own label and don't need to be accompanied by a "silent head" below them. 2001. Expanded Relativized Minimality to cover extractions from weak islands and strong islands, a work which has been adopted by Rizzi 2004 as 'feature-based Relativised Minimality'. 1997. Discovered the hierarchy of strong > weak > clitic pronouns together with Anna Cardinaletti.