skip to content


Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics


Dr Matthew Tyler

Matthew Tyler
Junior Research Fellow
Faculty of Modern & Medieval Languages & Linguistics
Contact details: 

Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics
Raised Faculty Building
University of Cambridge
Sidgwick Avenue
United Kingdom


Matthew is a specialist in morphology and syntax. He recently completed a PhD in linguistics at Yale University. His thesis "Argument structure and argument-marking in Choctaw" investigates how verbs are composed in Choctaw, a Muskogean language spoken in Mississippi, and addresses several questions in syntactic theory more broadly. Chief among them are: what are the atomic 'pieces' of syntax that verbs are assembled out of? And how do the forms and meanings of verbs emerge out of this assembly of syntactic pieces? As part of his research, he spends time in Mississippi working with speakers of Choctaw to document the grammar of the language.

His next research project will investigate the form, function and syntactic behaviour of 'switch-reference' systems. These are reference-tracking systems, common in the languages of the Americas, whereby clauses exhibit special marking that indicates whether the subject of that clause is the same as, or different from, the subject of a connected clause. He is particularly interested in how the argument structure of different verbs can affect the determination of switch-reference marking.

Research interests: 




Published works: 
  • Tyler, Matthew. To appear. Two Kinds of External Possession in Mississippi Choctaw. Syntax.
  • Tyler, Matthew. To appear. Ergative-marked internal arguments in Choctaw. Proceedings of the Workshop on the Structure and Constituency of the Languages of the Americas 24 (WSCLA 24).
  • Tyler, Matthew and Jim Wood. 2019. Microvariation in the have yet to construction. Linguistic Variation 19(2), 232-279.
  • Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Differential Object Marking by A’-status. Proceedings of the 49th Meeting of the North East Linguistics Society (NELS 49).
  • Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Absolutive Promotion and the Condition on Clitic Hosts in Choctaw. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 37(3), 1145-1203.
  • Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Choctaw as a window into the clitic/agreement split. Studia Linguistica 73(2), 299-338.
  • Tyler, Matthew. 2019. Simplifying MATCH WORD: Evidence from English functional categories. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 4(1): 15. 1-32.
  • Tyler, Matthew and Michelle Yuan. 2019. Nominal-clitic case mismatches. Proceedings of the 36th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics (WCCFL 36), 333-343. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.
  • Tyler, Matthew. 2018. A Locality Restriction on Indexical Shift: Evidence from Turkish. Proceedings of the 1st workshop on Turkish, Turkic and the Languages of Turkey (Tu+ 1), 159-160. Amherst, MA: GSLA.
  • Tyler, Matthew. 2017. Swiping without Sluicing. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 23 (1), 291-300.