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The following manuscripts were written during my time as a graduate student at the University of Manchester (2009-2014) when I was researching on formal (Minimalist) analyses of syntactic change. These ideas stem from many in-depth discussions held with Professor Nigel Vincent, my principal supervisor, and contain the foundation of many ideas and examples that underlie my papers, publications, conference presentations, invited talks and dissertation

Manuscripts (unpublished)

An abridged version can be found on my academic webpage


‘The grammaticalization of K(case): grammaticalization and ‘lateral’ grammaticalization’. University of Manchester.


This paper considers the genesis of case markers (K(case)), a functional category hitherto unanalysed in formal (Minimalist) analyses of grammaticalization (Roberts and Roussou (2003), van Gelderen (2004, 2011)), and new proposals are made not only with regards to their diachronic genesis but also to their synchronic and typological status in Case theory.

Paper downloadable here:  

I have since developed and modified my arguments here in Tse (201320132014, Forthcoming). For more detail, see my conference presentations, invited talkspaperspublications and dissertation


‘Grammaticalization and ‘lateral’ grammaticalization, formalism and functionalism, in Minimalism’. University of Manchester. 

This paper proposes a unified formal (Minimalist) analysis of grammaticalization, as proposed by Roberts and Roussou (2003) and van Gelderen (2004, 2011)), and 'lateral' grammaticalization, a phenomenon discovered by Simpson and Wu (2002), which sheds new insights not only on the mechanisms that underlie grammaticalization but also the interface effects of grammaticalization, the architecture of human language and the relationship between formalism and functionalism in language change. 

Paper downloadable here:  

I have subsequently developed these ideas in Tse (2012, 2013) and my dissertation. For more detail, see my conference presentations, invited talkspapers, publications and dissertation

Keith Tse


One thing that really amazes me about Nigel is his sheer breadth of knowledge and interests, since not only is he a world-class Latin/Romance linguist, he is also the world's authority on general/theoretical linguistics, especially grammatical theory. In our discussions, therefore, we did not just talk about Latin and Romance but also theoretical issues like formal syntax and syntactic change. As Professor Adam Ledgeway once told me, Nigel is 'by far the best and most experienced (Romance) linguist of his generation and can offer you so much that others simply cannot offer you'. I cannot agree more with Adam. 

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