Thank you for visiting my website. I am a linguist with research interests in syntax, Slavic syntax, and the evolution of syntax. I am professor of Linguistics at Wayne State University in Detroit, USA, and I just spent my sabbatical leave in 2018/19 as a visiting scholar at MIT, Cambridge, MA. My research focus in the past thirteen years has been understanding how and why human language evolved. My findings lead to the conclusion that syntax/grammar evolved gradually (through well-defined stages), and that these stages are not only still evident in various modern language constructions (‘living fossils’), but that they also provide a scaffolding/foundation for building more complex syntactic/grammatical structures, as well as building blocks for cross-linguistic variation. The approach involves a precise internal reconstruction of syntactic stages based on syntactic theory.
I invite you to look at my publications on the topic, and to give me feedback (progovacATwayneDOTedu). My most thorough and comprehensive arguments for this position can be found in the two books on the topic: Evolutionary Syntax (2015), Oxford University Press, and A Critical Introduction to Language Evolution (2019 e-book, Springer Expert Briefs). The most succinct proposal (which gives a fragment of early human and Neanderthal grammars) can be found in my 2016 article A gradualist scenario for language evolution: A precise reconstruction. Here and here you can find two joint 2018 articles offering results of fMRI experiments testing some predictions of this proposal.