My work focuses on syntax and its interface with semantics, with a particular interest in unbounded dependency constructions, coordination, ellipsis, and linearization. In my research I employ corpora, computational models, and controlled psycholinguistic experimentation. One of my goals is to understand how idiosyncratic linguistic phenomena can be shaped by the interplay of linguistic and cognitive factors. I have specialized in surface-driven construction-based grammatical frameworks such as HPSG/SBCG, and implemented medium-sized computational models for research purposes.

PhD Supervision

I'm also currently serving as the Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies for the Computational Linguistics programs.

Representative research

See the publications page for a more complete listing.

Book out on Oxford University Press

Chaves, Rui P. and Michael T. Putnam. (2021) Unbounded Dependency Constructions: theoretical and experimental perspectives, Oxford Surveys in Syntax and Morphology 10, Oxford University Press.

This volume offers a comprehensive overview of unbounded dependency constructions and their constraints. It provides a detailed empirical and theoretical comparison of movement-based and non-movement-based accounts, and reports new data and experimental findings that challenge long-standing theoretical assumptions. This work argues for an exemplar-based construction-based conception of extraction and of grammatical theory that is consistent with the behavioural facts of incremental sentence processing, and it showcases how linguistic phenomena can be shaped by the interplay of syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, phonologic, and cognitive factors.

A review of the book in the Journal of Linguistics can be found here.
There is also an errata.