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.
See the publications page for a more complete listing.
- Chaves, Rui P. and Avery Malone (2022) "Reward-modulated syntactic adaptation in self-paced reading", 35th Annual Conference on
Human Sentence Processing, UC Santa Cruz.
- Chaves, Rui P. and Stephanie Richter (2021) "Look at that! BERT can be easily distracted from paying attention to morphosyntax", in 4th Annual Meeting of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL), Vol. 4, Article 4, pp.11.
- Richter, Stephanie and Rui P. Chaves (2020) "Investigating the Role of Verb Frequency in Factive and Manner-of-speaking Islands", in
Proceedings of the 42nd Annual Virtual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Toronto. pp. 1771–1777.
- Chaves, Rui P. (2020) "What Don't RNN Language Models Learn About Filler-Gap Dependencies?", 3rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL), Vol. 3, Article 4:20–30.
- Da Costa, Jillian K. and Rui P. Chaves (2020) "Assessing the ability of Transformer-based Neural Models to represent structurally unbounded dependencies", in 3rd Annual Meeting of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL), Vol. 3, Article 20:189–198.
- Sag, Ivan A., Rui P. Chaves, Anne Abeillé, Bruno Estigarribia, Dan Flickinger, Paul Kay,
Laura Michaelis, Stefan Müller, Geoffrey K. Pullum, Frank Van Eynde, Thomas Wasow (2020), "Lessons from the English auxiliary system"
Journal of Linguistics, 56(1): 87–155.
- Chaves, R. P. and Adriana King (2019) "A usage-based account of subextraction effects", Cognitive Linguistics, 30(4) 719–750
- Chaves, Rui P. (2019) "Construction Grammar" In Current approaches to syntax - a comparative handbook, (eds.) András Kertész,
Edith Moravcsik, and Csilla Rákosi, Comparative Handbooks of Linguistics series at de Gruyter Mouton, 49–96.
- Chaves, R. P. and Jeruen E. Dery (2019) "Frequency Effects in Subject Islands" Journal of Linguistics, 55(3), 475–521.
- Chaves, R. P. (2018) "Freezing as a
probabilistic phenomenon" In Jutta Hartmann, Marion
Knecht, Andreas Konietzko and Susanne Winkler (eds.) Freezing - Theoretical
Approaches and Empirical Domains, Studies in Generative Grammar series. 403–429.
Berlin/New York: de Gruyter.
New book out on Oxford University Press
Chaves, Rui P. and Michael T. Putnam. (2022) 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
A review of the book in the Journal of Linguistics can be found here.
There is also an errata.
Last modified: May 15 2022
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