Dr Michael Jones

Visiting Fellow
Department of Language and Linguistics
Dr Michael Jones



He read French as an undergraduate at Sussex and spent six years as an English lecturer in Paris before taking up his present post at Essex in 1978. He studied theoretical linguistics at Paris-Vincennes, where he gained his third cycle doctorate. His principal research interests are syntactic theory and description, particularly in relation to the Romance languages. He has published a number of articles on various aspects of theoretical syntax and the description of French and Sardinian. He is author of Sardinian Syntax (Routledge, 1993) and Foundations of French Syntax (CUP, 1996).


  • BA Sussex,

  • L. Paris, Doct. Paris,

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Syntactic Theory & Description

Romance Languages

Current research

VP-fronting in Sardinian

Various issues in the syntax and semantics of English auxiliaries

Conferences and presentations

Focus, fronting and prosody in Sardinian

Sardinian Network Meeting, Konstanz, Germany, 8/2012

Constituent order variation in Sardinian

CIDSM, Berlin, Germany, 7/2010

Isseperu de s'ausiliare e verbos inaccusativos

Conference organised by the Municipality of Siniscola, 10/2002

A fattu de s’ortografia: su problema de s’istandard e de sa varietate linguistica

Su sardu: limba de Sardinna e limba de Europa, Berlin, Germany, 12/2001

The personal infinitive in Sardinian revisited

Incontro di dialettologia italiana, Bristol, United Kingdom, 9/1999

Feature-checking and visibility of interpretable features

Fes, Morocco, 3/1999

Inflectional ambiguities: a feature-checking approach

Au commencement était le verbe, Oxford, United Kingdom, 11/1998

Romance Inversion and inflectional hierarchies

Romance linguistics seminar, Oxford, United Kingdom, 4/1998

Infinitivu flessivu e infinitivu pessonale in su sardu nugorese

La Lingua Sarda: identità socio-culturale della Sardegna nel prossimo millennio, Cagliari, Italy, 5/1997

Five day intensive course on English Syntax

San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Spain, 4/1997

Sardinian Syntax

Sardinian Language Group, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 9/1996

Sardinian Syntax

Sardinian Language Group, Leiden, Netherlands, 9/1996

The pronoun-determiner debate: evidence from Sardinian and repercussions for French

Situated Languages Rabat, 9/1996

The pronoun-determiner debate: evidence from Sardinian and repercussions for French

Leiden, Netherlands, 9/1996

What is Linguistics?

Leyton 6th Form College languages day, 6/1996

The pronoun-determiner debate: evidence from Sardinian and repercussions for French

LSRL 26, Mexico City, Mexico, 3/1996

The pronoun-determiner debate: evidence from Sardinian and repercussions for French

Oxford, United Kingdom, 2/1995

French complex inversion and articulated clause structure

RLS, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1/1995

Series of lectures on ‘Linguistic theory and the syntax of English’

Seminar on ‘The place of grammar in language teaching’, Amman, Jordan, 12/1991

Some distinctive properties of Sardinian syntax

Crucial Languages: First workshop on the syntax of central Romance languages, Geneva, Switzerland, 7/1990

Subject-verb inversion in French: what is inverted with what and when?

Cambridge, United Kingdom, 11/1989

The prepositional accusative in Sardinian: its distribution and syntactic repercussions

The Romance Languages and Current Linguistic Theory, France, 5/1989

Infinitives with specified subjects in Sardinian

LSRL 19, Columbus, United States, 4/1989

Auxiliary verbs in Sardinian

Philological Society, London, United Kingdom, 10/1988

Ergativity and auxiliary choice in Sardinian

LAGB, Durham, United Kingdom, 3/1988

Ergative and impersonal constructions in Sardinian

RLS, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1/1988

The so-called genitive in English

LAGB, Bradford, United Kingdom, 9/1987

Teach-in on ‘Recent developments in French Syntax’

AFLS French Syntax and Discourse: Theory and Applications, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 9/1987

The chassé-croisé phenomenon and related questions

AFLS French Syntax and Discourse: Theory and Applications, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 9/1987

Rifletziones supra su status de sa limba sarda

Annual meeting of the Sotziedade pro sa Limba Sarda (Sardinian Language Society), Nuoro, Italy, 12/1986

Sa grammatica dzenerativa e sa limba sarda

Address to public meeting held in Gavoi, 10/1986

Constituent order variation in Sardinian

RLS, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1/1986

Non-argumental datives in French

AFLS, Colchester, United Kingdom, 1984

L’expression du mouvement en français et en anglais: problèmes de traduction

Franco-British Conference on Translation, London, United Kingdom, 7/1983

‘Getting tough with Wh- Movement’ Colloque Visages

Virages et Mirages de la linguistique, Paris, France, 6/1981

Impersonal sentences in French

RLS, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 1/1980


Journal articles (5)

Jones, MA., (2013). Focus, fronting and illocutionary force in Sardinian. Lingua. 134, 75-101

Jones, MA., (1992). Subject-clitic inversion and inflectional hierarchies. Journal of French Language Studies. 9 (2), 181-209

Jones, MA., (1988). AUXILIARY VERBS IN SARDINIAN. Transactions of the Philological Society. 86 (2), 173-203

Jones, MA., (1988). Cognate objects and the case-filter. Journal of Linguistics. 24 (1), 129-159

Jones, MA., (1983). Getting "tough" with Wh- movement. Journal of Linguistics. 19 (1), 129-159

Books (3)

Jones, MA., (2003). Sintassi della Lingua Sarda [Sardinian syntax]. Condaghes. 88-7356-029-6. 978-88-7356-029-6

Jones, MA., (1996). Foundations of French Syntax. Cambridge University Press. 9780521388054

Jones, MA., (1993). Sardinian Syntax. Routledge. 9780415049221

Book chapters (6)

Jones, MA., (1999). The pronoun ∼ determiner debate. In: Semantic Issues in Romance Syntax. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 121- 121. 9789027236791

Jones, MA., (1999). Infinitivu flessivu e infinitivu pessonale in su sardu nugorese. In: La Lingua Sarda: identit� socio-culturale della Sardegna nel prossimo millennio. Editors: Helsloot, K. and Bolognesi, R., . Condaghes. 109- 125. 9788886229630

Jones, MA., (1997). Sardinian. In: The Dialects of Italy. Editors: Maiden, M. and Parry, M., . Routledge. 376- 384. 0415111048. 978-0-415-11104-1

Jones, MA., (1995). The prepostional accusative in Sardinian. In: Linguistic Theory and the Romance Languages. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 37- 37. 9789027236258

Jones, MA., (1992). Infinitives with Specified Subjects in Sardinian. In: Theoretical Analyses in Romance Linguistics. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 295- 309. 9789027235725

Jones, MA., (1983). Speculations on the expression of movement in French. In: A Festschrift for Peter Wexler : studies presented to Peter Wexler by his friends and colleagues on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday. Editors: Durand, J., . University of Essex. 165- 192

Other (1)

Jones, MA., (2011).VP-Fronting in Sardinian: a structural paradox



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