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Invited talks

An abridged version can be found on my academic webpage

Here is a list of events and institutions to which I have been invited to present my work either through professional contact, for course fulfillment, or via a preliminary process of abstract-reviewing, in reverse chronological order:


'Biolinguistics and Language Evolution: What is Linguistic Simplicity?' Oral (virtual) presentation at the Ronin Public Seminar, 6th November 2020.


This presentation seeks to trace the development and history of Linguistics as an academic discipline and the current research questions that are being debated in contemporary biolinguistics. While Internal Merge (IM aka Move) is now held to be on a par with External Merge (EM aka Merge) in Minimalist derivations, there are still good reasons for believing that IM is derivationally more complex than EM since it involves multiple projections in Deep Structure.


Introduction downloadable here: 

Presentation downloadable here:

Video recording on Vimeo and YouTube

'What is the D in DOM (Differential Object Marking)? Oral (virtual) presentation at the Hispanic and Lusophone Linguistic (HLL) Online Virtual Colloquium, 11th September 2020.   

Romance varieties display significant microvariation in Differential Object Marking (DOM), and although animacy is a primary factor in triggering DOM, other factors that have to do with referentiality (+D) also condition Romance DOM in ways which create intermediary types of DOM. Taking such D factors into account may allow us to create a formal typology of DOM in Romance. 


Abstract downloadable here:   

Presentation downloadable here: 

Video recording on Vimeo and YouTube


'Chinese cleft constructions: microparametric 'lateral' grammaticalization: where formal syntax and sociolinguistics meet. Oral presentation at Historical and Contemporary Knowledgebase in Sociolinguistics (HaCKS) Workshop, University of York, Thursday 28th February 2019. 

In defiance of the traditional dichotomy between armchair, formal grammatical theory-making and hands-on, practical sociolinguistics, this paper examines the dialectal distribution of Chinese cleft constructions, which universally consist of the copula (是/系) selecting a clausal complement ending with the adnominaliser (的/嘅), and this historical-comparative analysis shows how formal (Minimalist) syntax can be combined fruitfully with sociolinguistics to produce a constructive methodology for analysing dialectal data.

Presentation downloadable here: 

Workshop poster: 


'Formation of (proto-)Romance non-finite complementation: a tale of two prepositions (and more)'. Oral presentation at the Romance Linguistics Seminar (RLS), Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge, Friday 5th January 2018. 

The wide distribution (geographical and historical) of Romance prepositional infinitives suggests proto-Romance formation, yet their total and complete absence in Latin renders their origins opaque. Structural parallels between Latin and Romance complementation are examined, and new hypotheses regarding the evolution of Latin and Romance non-finite complementation are proposed. 

Abstract downloadable here:  

Written-up version downloadalbe here: 


Developing Pathways to Impact: Training Workshop for Early Career Researchers in Bi-/Multilingualism and Edcuation. Westminster University, London, 2nd December. 

I was invited among 60 other early career researchers to participate in this workshop in which we discussed the significance of societal multilingualism in the modern world and its relationship with current practices in applied linguistics, especially foreign language teaching in the United Kingdom. 


No abstract.  

'Chinese shi-de constructions’. Poster presentation at the Summer Institute of the Linguistic Society of America (LSA), University of Kentucky, United States,  July 2017. 

New historical evidence indicates new origins for Chinese cleft (shi-de) constructions, a formal analysis of which entails interesting modifications to Simpson and Wu's (2002) 'lateral' grammaticalization hypothesis.


Abstract downloadable here: 


'Standard' grammaticalization and 'lateral' grammaticalization: weakening (or not) of functional elements- a revised view of co-evolution of meaning and form'. International Symposium on Verbs, Clauses and Constructions (VCC), University of La Rioja, Logroño, Spain, Wednesday 26th October 2016.

A formal comparison between 'standard' grammaticalization (Roberts and Roussou (2003), van Gelderen (2004, 2011)) and 'lateral' grammaticalization (Simpson and Wu (2002)) reveals new, interesting and important research questions regarding functional elements and their genesis. 

Abstract downloadable here:  

Presentation downloadable here: 

Keith Tse


I do not think that there is much difference between a conference presentation and an invited talk, though the latter may be very slightly more relaxed, since the audience may not be professional academics, but I still nervous all the same. I have particularly bad recollections of my first talk ever at the Ibero-Romance colloquium at Queen's College, Cambridge (2012), where I presented in front of many leading figures in our field (Professor Roger Wright, Professor Chris Pountain, Professor Dieter Wanner, Professor Ian Roberts, Professor Adam Ledgeway and his research students etc). They all knew that I was nervous, I think, as they went easy on me during the Q&A session, though some of the senior figures did have a quiet word with me during the breaks and told me not to do certain things, which left me rather red-faced...!. Nonetheless, it was an experience that I shall never forget, since I feel that I was born academically in that particular conference, which happened to take place at Cambridge (!).  No disrespect for Cambridge University as I have a lot of respect and many professional connections at its mathematics and linguistics faculties, but as an Oxonian I always feel uneasy going there (!). I did give a talk at Oxford (2013) at our wonderful Taylorian which I knew very well and was perfectly at east throughout. That was a much more pleasant and smooth experience, not only because I had one more year of conference experience but also because I did not feel cursed or possessed.   


'Loss and gain of features in syntactic change'. PhD course: Loss and gain in language, University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway, Thursday 21st May 2015.

A formal featural analysis of historical syntax shows that formal features play an important part not only in the directionality and formal typology of syntactic change but also in its interface and empirical effects. 

Abstract downloadable here: 

Presentation downloadable here: 


'The formation of Spanish prepositional objects'. Association of Hispanists in Great Britain and Ireland (AHGBI) Annual Conference, University of Oxford, Monday 25th March 2013.

The genesis of Spanish prepositional objects (+ direct object) is analysed in depth with reference to medieval Spanish texts (mainly El Poema del mio Cid) and a comparison with other medieval Romance varieties reveals proto-Romance/Latin origins.  

Abstract downloadable here: 

'(Proto-)Romance prepositional infinitives and modal verbs: a typological comparison with English modal verbs and to-infinitive'. Modern Languages Association (MLA) Annual Convention, Session on Comparative Romance Linguistics, Boston, United States, 3rd-6th January.

The formation of Romance prepositional infinitives and modal verbs, a hitherto underexplored topic, is compared to classic accounts on the formation of English modal verbs and to-infinitives. 

Abstract downloadable here: 

Written-up version downloadable here:


'The formation of (Ibero-)Romance Case-markers'. 2nd Cambridge Colloquium on the 'Histories of the Ibero-Romance Languages', Norman MacColl Symposium 2012, Queens' College, University of Cambridge, Thursday 29th March 2012.

The use of Latin ad as a Romance Case-marker is carefully reconsidered and new empirical and theoretical insights are proposed. 

Presentation downloadable here: 


'Linguistic reconstruction and dialectal groupings: new perspectives on historical phylogeny'. Presentation given at 'Introduction to Dialectology' (LING7800-032) at the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) Summer Institute, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, United States, 29th July.

New insights from language change and language contact are employed to re-evaluate and revise traditional methods of historical-comparative linguistics.  

Presentation downloadable here: 


‘El pretérito y los tiempos afines (PYTA): una derivación morfológica del español medieval’. University of Oxford Language Centre (OPAL), 28th May.

La comparación entre el pretérito y los tiempos 'afines' (los tiempos pasados del subjuntivo) revela una relación morfológica, la cual sugiere nuevos mecanismos en la derivación del verbo español. 

‘El latiñol:  la relación lingǖística entre el latín y el español’. University of Oxford Language Centre (OPAL), 14th February.

La traducción de unas oraciones en latín al español y vice versa nos permite postular correspondencias lingǖísticas entre estas dos lenguas.


‘Del latín al español: la evolución de una lengua románica’. University of Oxford Language Centre (OPAL), 23rd November.

Unas oraciones en latín y español revelan unos cambios diacrónicos entre el español y su protolengua.

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