Carol Neidle

Professor, Linguistics and French
Head of the Linguistics Program

Carol Neidle
Office phone: 617-353-6218
Fax: 617-358-4641
Office number: 101
Office address: 621 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Spring 2014: walk in M 2:30-4; R 10:30-11:30; or

BA, Yale College
MA, Middlebury College
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Neidle teaches courses in general linguistics and French linguistics. Her research interests include syntactic theory and the syntactic structure of American Sign Language (ASL).

Professor Neidle is the Director of the American Sign Language Linguistic Research Project (ASLLRP). Funding from the NSF supports linguistic research on the syntactic structure of ASL, development of computational tools (including SignStream, a MacOS application) to facilitate analysis of signed language and gesture, and collaborative research with computer scientists interested in the problem of sign language recognition. Through our National Center for Sign Language and Gesture Resources, several different types of experimental resources and analyzed data are made publicly available.

Her publications include The Syntax of American Sign Language: Functional Categories and Hierarchical Structure (MIT Press) and The Role of Case in Russian Syntax (Dordrecht: Kluwer).

Professor Neidle coordinates the undergraduate Linguistics Program.


Spring 2014

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LF 502

The Structure of French: Syntax

A1 Neidle MWF 12-1 CAS 323A
(Conducted in French) After an introduction to some of the main features of the sentence structure of French (with occasional excursions into Quebecois), attention will be focused on a number of specific topics in French syntax: e.g., the position of the finite and non-finite verb, formation of questions and relative clauses, different types of subject-verb inversion, quantifier floating and the position of subjects, negation, the behavior of clitic pronouns, imperative and causative constructions, right and left dislocation, as well as the relationship between specific syntactic constructions and intonation.
  • The class will be "hands-on", with sets of data presented for students to analyze and reflect upon (in class and in homework assignments).
  • Readings will include articles by the most interesting and influential French linguists.
  • Students will also engage in independent lilbrary research on a topic of interest.
[Prereq: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.]
Note: This course cannot substitute for CAS LX 522 Syntax I for major or minor requirements. It does satisfy Linguistics major requirements for linguistic analysis of a specific language. It also counts as one of the four electives for the French Studies major; as an elective for the Linguistics minor; or as one of the six courses required for a French minor.

Fall 2014

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 250

Introduction to Linguistics

A1 Neidle TR 2-3:30 LSE B01
S1 Neidle F 9-10 KCB 104
S2 Neidle F 10-11 KCB 104
S3 Neidle F 11-12 KCB 104
S4 Neidle F 12-1 KCB 104
S5 Neidle F 1-2 KCB 104
S6 Neidle F 2-3 KCB 104
S7 Neidle F 9-10 KCB 103
S8 Neidle F 11-12 KCB 103
S9 Neidle F 1-2 KCB 201
Study of the fundamental properties that all languages share, and of how languages differ, with respect to structure (sound system, word formation, syntax), expression of meaning, acquisition, variation, and change; cultural and artistic uses of languages; comparison of oral, written, and signed languages.
  • Satisfies CAS Divisional Studies course requirements for the Humanities.
  • Students signing up for CAS LX 250 A1 should also sign up for one of the Friday discussion sections.