Dr Saurov Syed

MA PhD University of Southern California, MA MPhil The English & Foreign Languages University Hyderabad


Academic Positions

Feb 2018 - Present: Lecturer, University of Auckland.

Aug 2017 - Jan 2018: Lecturer, Harvard University.

Research | Current

  • Theoretical syntax
  • Structure of noun phrases
    • Numerals and phase-theory
    • argument structure of the noun
    • cyclicity inside noun phrases
  • The syntax of the yes/no particle across languages 
  • Cross-linguistic distribution and co-occurence of non-article determiners

Teaching | Current

LINGUIST 200 Syntax

LINGUIST 709 Research Methodology 

LINGUIST 300 Advanced Syntax 

LINGUIST 721 Topics in Syntax 

Postgraduate supervision

I am currently seeking motivated graduate students to work on various topics in theoretical syntax. I particularly welcome enquiries from prospective researchers interested in topics related to my areas of expertise. 


2016-2017: University of Southern California Graduate School Dissertation Completion Fellowship 

2016-2017: University Outstanding Teaching Assistant, University of Southern California

2016-2017: Excellence in Teaching in the category of Linguistics Award, University of Southern California

2015-2016: Excellence in Teaching in the category of Linguistics Award, University of Southern California

2014-2015: University of Southern California Advanced Graduate Merit Award

2010-2011: University of Southern California Graduate Merit Award

Areas of expertise

  • Theoretical syntax
  • Cross-linguistic structure of noun-phrases
    • including but not limited to the syntax of adjectives, determiners, demonstratives, numerals, quantifiers, arguments, relative clauses
  • Information structure in the syntax
  • Cross-linguistic distribution of non-article determiners
  • Syntax of yes/no questions

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Syed, S., & Simpson, A. (2017). On the DP/NP status of nominal projections in Bangla: Consequences for the theory of phases. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 2 (1)10.5334/gjgl.186
  • Syed, S. (2017). The structure of noun phrases in Bengali: What it tells us about phases and the universality of DPs University of Southern California. University of Southern California.
  • Syed, S., & Dash, B. (2017). A unified account of the yes/no particle in Hindi, Bangla, and Odia. In M. Y. Erlewine (Ed.) Proceedings of GLOW in Asia XI, 1, 201-212. Cambridge, MA: MIT Working Papers in Linguistics.
  • Syed, S. (2016). Decomposing definiteness: Arguments for a Split-D domain in Bangla. In K. Kim, P. Umbal, T. Block, Q. Chan, T. Cheng, K. Finney, M. Katz, S. Nickel-Thompson, L. Shorten (Eds.) Proceedings of the 33rd West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 390-397. Somerville, MA.
  • Simpson, A., & Syed, S. (2016). Blocking effects of higher numerals in Bangla: A phase-based analysis. Linguistic Inquiry, 47 (4), 754-763. 10.1162/LING_a_00231
  • Syed, S. (2014). Focus-movement as last resort: Evidence from Bangla. Proceedings from the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society, 50. Chicago.
  • Simpson, A., & Syed, S. (2014). Finiteness, negation and the directionality of headedness in Bangla. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, 32 (1), 231-261. 10.1007/s11049-013-9223-7
  • Syed, S. (2014). Adjective-fronting as evidence for focus and topic within the Bangla nominal domain. In P. Chandra, R. Srishti (Eds.) The lexicon-syntax interface: Perspectives from South Asian languages (pp. 53-69). Amsterdam, Netherlands: Benjamins. 10.1075/la.209.03sye

Contact details

Primary office location

ARTS 2 - Bldg 207
Level 2, Room 212
New Zealand