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Elaine Francis

Purdue University

Short Bio: 
Elaine J. Francis is an associate professor in the Department of English and in the Linguistics Program at Purdue University, where she has taught since 2003 and where she directs the Experimental Linguistics Lab. Before coming to Purdue, she completed her Ph.D. in Linguistics at the University of Chicago (1999) and was an assistant professor in English Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong (1999-2002). Her research focuses on the nature of grammatical categories from synchronic and diachronic perspectives, and on the syntactic, semantic, discourse-pragmatic, and cognitive factors that underlie the grammar and usage of complex sentence structures. Her most recent publications have focused on relative clause extraposition in English and resumptive pronouns in Cantonese. She has published in journals such as Cognitive Linguistics, Journal of Linguistics, Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, Language and Cognition, Language Sciences, Lingua, Linguistics, and Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. She is a General Editor (one of six co-editors) of the journal Language and Cognition, and co-editor, with Laura A. Michaelis, of the edited volume Mismatch: Form-Function Incongruity and the Architecture of Grammar (CSLI Publications, 2003). Her current book-in-progress, Marginal Acceptability and Linguistic Theory, investigates how linguists can better understand the nature of language users’ implicit grammatical knowledge despite the very indirect relationship between mental representations and observable linguistic behavior.
Research interests: 
structural complexity
language production
syntactic alternations
relative clauses