Nicholas Welch

Assistant Professor, Memorial University of Newfoundland


I am currently involved in the following projects:

As Principal Investigator

Mapping the Dene Clause

Although Dene languages are broadly SOV, and have been described as rigidly verb-final, a large number of clitics, particles and discourse markers occur post-verbally. Many of these show properties that suggest they are functional heads. By testing the selectional, combinatorial and semantic properties of these post-verbal elements, we can build a detailed picture of the Dene CP domain.

Copulas and predication.

Multiple-copula languages pose a challenge for views of copulas as content-free hosts of agreement: how do we reconcile copulas' lack of lexical semantics with the fact that copula choice can change the interpretation of a sentence? I suggest that the answer lies in copulas spelling out different combinations of features, and pursue empirical verification of this idea across languages.

As Co-Investigator

The Paradict

A web-based generative verb dictionary as a tool for language teachers, learners and researchers. Currently implemented for three Dene languages  Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì (Dogrib), Tsúùt'ínà (Sarsi) and DinĂ© Bizaad (Navajo), this dictionary generates full verb paradigms from minimal user input. (Co-Investigator: Chris Harvey)