T. Daniel Seely

A photo of T. Daniel Seely

Professor, Linguistics Program Coordinator

English Language and Literature

612D Pray-Harrold

734.487.0145

tseely@emich.edu

Education

  • Ph.D., Linguistics, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • B.A., Philosophy, Summa Cum Laude, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Interests and Expertise

T. Daniel Seely received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research and teaching is focused on biolinguistic theory, specifically on language as an "organ" of the human brain. He has specialties in syntax, semantics and psycholinguistics. Seely's research has appeared in such journals as SYNTAX and Linguistic Inquiry; he has a number of books with long-time collaborator Samuel Epstein, and is a member of "Project EKS," a research team (with numerous publications) consisting of Samuel Epstein (U. of Michigan), Hisatsugu Kitahara (Keio University, Japan) and T. Daniel Seely. A collection of their papers appears in Explorations in Maximizing Syntactic Minimization, Routledge Leading Linguists Series.

Seely has received a number of teaching awards including:

  • Eastern Michigan University's Graduate Mentor Award
  • The Holman Outstanding Faculty, Classroom Instruction Award
  • The Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Teaching II Award, considered "the most prestigious award offered by the University to an individual faculty member."

Courses

  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • First language acquisition
  • Modern English grammar

Teaching Recognition

Thank-a-professor, 2019 Nominee

Star Lecture Series, University-wide Honors Program Lecture Series invited speaker with the presentation: “The language  that divides us and the language that unites us.” 2016 Star Lecture

William Fennel Symposium Mentor Award, 2013 nominee

Linguistic Society of America, Summer Institute Course, Derivational Approaches to Minimalist Syntax, with S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, University of Michigan, 2013.

McNair Scholars Mentor, 2011

Eastern Michigan University’s Graduate Mentor Award, 2009 recipient

Holman Outstanding Faculty, Classroom Instruction Award, 2008 nominee

Linguist of the Day, LINGUIST LIST Fund Drive, 2007

The Holman Outstanding Faculty, Classroom Instruction Award, 2007 nominee

Honors Faculty of the Year, given by the student members of the University Honors College, 2005-2006 nominee.

The Holman Outstanding Faculty, Classroom Instruction Award, 2005 nominee.

Star Lecture Series, University-wide Honors Program Lecture Series participant with the presentation: “There is no such thing as English!  … and other puzzles of modern linguistics” 2005 participant by special invitation for University Honors Program.

Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Teaching II Award,  2004 recipient.

Institutional Values Award, Teaching, 2003 nominee.

Ronald W. Collins Distinguished Faculty Teaching II Award, 2003 nominee.

Linguistic Society of America, Summer Institute Course, English Syntax, Michigan State University, 2003.

The Holman Outstanding Faculty in a Student Support Role, 2003 nominee.

The Holman Outstanding Faculty, Classroom Instruction Award, 2002 recipient.

EMU Ambassadors Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Teaching, 2002 recipient.

Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence, 1991, 1996 nominee. 

  

Publications and Presentations

Sample of recent research includes:

  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Hitahara, "Labeling under minimal search: Determining 'single- vs. multiple-specifier' configurations," Linguistic Society of Japan, Hitotsubashi University, Japan, 2019
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Some Concepts & Consequences of 3rd Factor-Compliant Simplest MERGE," presented at Generative Grammar at the Speed of 90; U. of Arizona, 2018

  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "A Simpler Solution to Two Problems Revealed about the Composite Operation Agree," The Japanese Society for Language Sciences, Bunkyo Gakuin University, 2018

  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, M. Obata, “Is Linguistic Variation Entirely Linguistic?” in special edition of Linguistic Analysis, ed. By Profs. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini and Simin Karimi. 2018
  • Seely, T. Daniel, "How free is 'free' Merge," invited two-day seminar, presented at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. 2018
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Merge, Labeling and Their Interactions," in L. Bauke, A. Blümel (Eds.) Labels and Roots; Studies in Generative Grammar. De Gruyter Mouton. 2017
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Successive Cyclic Wh-Movement without Successive Cyclic Crashing," English Linguistic Society of Japan 10th Spring Forum. Meiji Gakuin University, Japan. 2017
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Is the Faculty of Language a 'Perfect Solution' to the Interface Systems," in J. McGilvray (ed), The Cambridge University Press Companion To Chomsky, 2nd Edition. 2017
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "'Perfection' is Simple," 34th Conference of the English Linguistic Society of Japan, Kanazawa University, Kanazawa, Japan. 2016
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Exploring the External Pair Merger of Heads," Putting Our Head Together: A Symposium on Pair Merge.  Ryukoku University, Fukakusa Campus, Kyoto, Japan. 2016
  • Seely, T. Daniel, "Is Agree Labeling?" symposium presented at Keio University, Tokyo, Japan. 2016
  • Seely, T. Daniel, Vicki Carstens, Norbert Hornstein, "Head-head relations in 'Problems of Projection,'" The Linguistic Review, Vol 33, Issue 1. 2016
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Phase cancellation by external pair-merge of heads,"
    The Linguistic Review, Vol 33, Issue 1. 2016
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Implications of an un(der) recognized form of Merge," North East Linguistic Society 46, Concordia University, Montréal, Québec. 2015
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "From Aspects' 'daughterless mothers' (aka delta nodes) to POP's motherless sets' (aka non-projection): a selective history of the evolution of Simplest Merge," in A. Gallego and D. Ott (eds) 50 Years Later: Reflections on Chomsky's Aspects, MIT Working Papers in Linguistics #77. 2015
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, Explorations in Maximizing Syntactic Minimization.  Routledge Leading Linguists Series. Routledge. 2015
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara, "Labeling by Minimal Search: Implications for successive cyclic A-movement and the conception of the postulate 'phase,'" Linguistic Inquiry 45:3. 2014
  • Seely, T. Daniel, "Labeling with Simplest Merge," Labels and Roots, Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft.  Marburg, Germany. 2014
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein, H. Kitahara and M. Obata, "Economy of Derivation and Representation" In The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax, ed. M. den Dikken. Cambridge University Press. 2013
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, "Simplest Merge generates set intersection: Implications for complementizer ‘trace’ explanation."  In The Proceedings of GLOW in Asia IX, 77–92. 2013
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, “Exploring phase based implications regarding clausal architecture. A case study: Why structural Case cannot precede theta" In Phases: Developing the Framework, ed. A. Gallego.  Mouton de Gruyter2012
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, “Structure Building that Can’t Be,” In Ways of Structure Building, ed. M. Uribe-Etxebarria and V. Valmala.  Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 2012
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, “Derivations,” In Handbook of Minimalist Linguistics, ed. C. Boeckx.  Oxford University Press. 2011
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, "Uninterpretable Features: What are they and what do they do?" In Language Faculty and Beyond series, ed. M.Putnam. John Benjamin's. 2010
  • Seely, T. Daniel and Dan Parker, “The Domain of Application of MaxElide,” paper presented at the Michigan Linguistics Society Annual Meeting, U. of Michigan; at Linguistics Society of America; and published in LSA proceedings (2010). 2009/2010
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, “Deducing Transfer,” Keynote Address for the Mid-America Linguistics Conference, U. of Missouri. 2009
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, “The Application of Transfer is Case Sensitive and Deducible,” paper presented at the Conference on Minimalist Approaches to Syntactic Locality, Research Institute for Linguistics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary. 2009
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and H. Kitahara, “Structure Building That Can’t Be,” paper presented at the Ways of Structure Building Conference, University of the Basque Country, Spain. 2008
  • Seely, T. Daniel, S. D. Epstein and Hisa Kitahara, “The ‘Value’ of Phonological Underspecification in the Narrow Syntax,”Keynote Address for Crash-Proof Grammars Conference, Carson-Newman College. 2008
  • Seely, T. Daniel and S. D. Epstein, The Anatomy of Chomsky’s Biolinguistic Minimalism, a video published in the inaugural issue of the e-journal Biolinguistics, K. Grohmann and C. Boeckx eds. 2008
  • Seely, T. Daniel and Konstantia Kapetangianni, “Control in Modern Greek: It’s another good move,” in S. Dubinsky and W. Davies (eds) New horizons in the analysis of Control and Raising, Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory series, Springer. 2007
  • Seely, T. Daniel,  “Merge, derivational c-command and subcategorization in a label-free syntax,” Cedric Boeckx (ed)Minimalist Essays, LA Series, John Benjamins. 2006
  • Seely, T. Daniel and S. D. Epstein, Derivations in Minimalism, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. 2006
  • Seely, T. Daniel and S. D. Epstein and A. Pires, “EPP in T: more controversial subjects,” in SYNTAX: a journal of theoretical, experimental and interdisciplinary research, Blackwell. 2005