Peter Cole' picturePeter Cole

Contacting me





Department of Linguistics
University of Delaware
46 East Delaware Avenue
Newark DE 19716

(302) 831-6829

(302) 831-6896


  • Ph.D. Linguistics, University of Illinois 1973
  • M.A. Linguistics, Southern Illinois, 1971

Research Interests

  • comparative syntax
  • linguistic theory
  • Chinese, Hebrew, Malay, Quechua
  • reflexives, questions, relative clauses, pronominals
  • the interface of linguistics with other cognitive sciences

The overriding goal of contemporary linguistics is to determine the range of variation possible in human languages. The studies I have engaged in generally involve the comparison of syntactic constructions in several languages in order to determine what possibilities can exist in human language. This general approach has become known as "comparative syntax".

Soon after getting my Ph.D. I spent a number of years concentrating on contemporary Hebrew. Later, I became interested in the Quechua languages (spoken in the Andean mountains of South America). While I have never lost interest in these languages, over the last ten years I have mostly worked on varieties of Chinese. Even more recently, I have become very interested in Malay and Indonesian.

The topic of my dissertation was pronouns, but I have worked on a wide variety of subjects. I am currently especially interested in two topics in syntax: long distance reflexives (like Chinese ziji) and question formation. In addition to syntax per se, I have written papers on semantics and pragmatics, and I am very interested in how the scientific study of language can contribute to cognitive science in general.

Fall 1997 Courses

Spring 1998 Courses

Symposia and Workshops

Some Recent Papers

Link to Papers Available for Downloading

  • Chaozhou Fangyan Zhong San Zhong Fanfu Wenju (Three Types of Yes/No Questions in a Teochew Dialect) (with Cher Leng Lee). In Chinese. To appear in Yuyan Yanjiu, 1997.

  • Yes/No Question in the Teochew of Singapore (with Cher Leng Lee). Journal of East Asian Linguistics 6:2, 1997.

  • An Apparent Typological Anomaly: Long Distance Reflexives in Singapore Malay (with Gabriella Hermon). Recently submitted for publication, 1997.

  • The Typology of WH Movement: WH Questions in Malay (with Gabriella Hermon). Recently submitted for publication, 1997.

  • "Apa Yang "Apa Yang"? (with Gabriella Hermon and Norhaida Bt. Aman). Presented at the Symposium on Malay and Indonesian Linguistics, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia, January 15, 1997 and to be published in the Proceedings of the Symposium, 1997.

  • Antecedents and Blockers of Long Distance reflexives: the Case of Chinese Ziji (with Chengchi Wang). Linguistic Inquiry 27, 3, 1996.

  • Language in the Andes. Editor (with Gabriella Hermon and Mario Daniel Martín). Newark, D.E.: Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, 1995.

  • Is There LF Movement? (with Gabriella Hermon). Linguistic Inquiry 25, 239-262, 1994.

  • Head Movement and Long Distance Reflexives (with Li-May Sung). Linguistic Inquiry 25, 355-406, 1994.

  • Feature Percolation (with Gabriella Hermon and Li-May Sung. Journal of East Asian Linguistics 2:1, 1993.

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Copyright (c) Peter Cole, 1995.
Last Updated: November 1, 1995
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