Dennis Ott

  • Associate Professor (Syntax)
  • Department of Linguistics, University of Ottawa

E-mail: dott[at]uottawa[dot]ca

Postal address

  • 70 Laurier Ave E
  • Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5
  • Canada

PhD 2011, Harvard

Research interests

  • movement
  • ellipsis
  • peripheries

Student hours

  • Spring/Summer 2019: by appointment

Current teaching

  • LIN 2310, Introduction to Syntax
  • LIN 3310, Syntactic Theory
  • LIN 5317, Syntax I
  • LIN 7330, Topics in Theoretical Linguistics

Past teaching

  • LIN 1310, Introduction to Linguistics I
  • LIN 2310, Introduction to Syntax
  • LIN 3310, Syntactic Theory
  • LIN 4391/7310, Topics in Linguistics I
  • LIN 5317, Syntax I
  • LIN 6317, Syntax II
  • LIN 7330, Topics in Theoretical Linguistics

For past teaching at other institutions, see my CV.


  • N. Chomsky, Á. Gallego & D. Ott. To appear. Generative grammar and the faculty of language: insights, questions, and challenges. Catalan Journal of Linguistics. (online)
  • D. Ott & R. Therrien. 2019. Swiping in a variety of Ontario French. Ms., University of Ottawa (submitted). (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2019. Review of Chomsky's Aspects of the Theory of Syntax and The Minimalist Program (anniversary editions). Canadian Journal of Linguistics 64(3). (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott & V. Struckmeier. 2018. Particles and deletion. Linguistic Inquiry 49(2), 393–407. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott. 2018. VP-fronting: movement vs. dislocation. The Linguistic Review 35(2), 243–282. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott. 2018. Stylistic fronting as remnant movement. Studia Linguistica 72(1), 1–38. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott & R. Šimík (eds.). 2018. What drives syntactic computation? Special collection, Glossa. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2017. Clausal arguments as syntactic satellites: a reappraisal. In A. Blümel and Leah S. Bauke (eds.), Labels and roots. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter, 127–160. (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2017. Strong generative capacity and the empirical base of linguistic theory. Frontiers in Psychology 8, 1617. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2017. Review of Contiguity Theory by Norvin Richards. Language 93(3), 720–723. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott. 2017. The syntax and pragmatics of dislocation: a non-templatic approach. In A. Monti (ed.), Proceedings of the 2017 CLA conference. Toronto: Ryerson University. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2016. Ellipsis in appositives. Glossa 1, Article 34. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2016. Review of A. Fabregas et al. (eds.), Contemporary Linguistic Parameters. The LINGUIST List 27.4380. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2016. Fragment anchors do not support the syntactic integration of appositive relative clauses: reply to Griffiths & de Vries 2013. Linguistic Inquiry 47(3), 580–590. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott & M. de Vries. 2016. Right-dislocation as deletion. Natural Language & Linguistic Theory 34(2), 641–690. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott & V. Struckmeier. 2016. Deletion in clausal ellipsis: remnants in the middle field. Proceedings of PLC 39, Article 25. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2015. Connectivity in left-dislocation and the composition of the left periphery. Linguistic Variation 15(2), 225–290. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott & E. Onea. 2015. On the form and meaning of appositives. In Proceedings of NELS 45, 203–212. (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2015. Review of Carnie et al. (eds.), The Routledge handbook of syntax. The LINGUIST List. (open access)
  • Á. Gallego & D. Ott (eds.). 2015. 50 years later: reflections on Chomsky's Aspects. Cambridge, MA: MITWPL. (order, open access)
  • Á Gallego & D. Ott. 2015. Editors' introduction. In Gallego & Ott 2015, iii–iv. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2015. Symmetric Merge and local instability: evidence from split topics. Syntax 18(2), 157–200. (pdf, doi)
  • M. Kluck, D. Ott & M. de Vries. 2014. Incomplete parenthesis: an overview. In Kluck et al. 2014, 1–22. (pdf)
  • M. Kluck, D. Ott & M. de Vries (eds.). 2014. Parenthesis and ellipsis: cross-linguistic and theoretical perspectives. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter. (online)
  • D. Ott. 2014. Controlling for movement: reply to Wood 2012. Working Papers in Scandinavian Syntax 92, 58–65. (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2014. Review of Cedric Boeckx, Syntactic islands. Language 90(1), 287–291. (doi)
  • D. Ott. 2014. An ellipsis approach to Contrastive Left-dislocation. Linguistic Inquiry 45(2), 269–303. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott & M. de Vries. 2014. A biclausal analysis of right-dislocation. Proceedings of NELS 43 (Vol. 2), 41–54. (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2013. Review of Ángel Gallego (ed.), Phases: developing the framework. Language 89(2), 357–360. (doi)
  • D. Ott. 2012. Movement and ellipsis in Contrastive Left-dislocation. Proceedings of WCCFL 30, 281–291. (open access)
  • D. Ott & M. de Vries. 2012. Thinking in the right direction: an ellipsis analysis of right-dislocation. Linguistics in the Netherlands 2012, 123–133. (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2012. Review of Peter Ludlow, The philosophy of Generative Grammar (Oxford University Press, 2011). LINGUIST List 23.453. (open access)
  • D. Ott. 2012. Local instability: split topicalization and quantifier float in German. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter. (online)
  • D. Ott. 2011. Local instability: the syntax of split topics. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University. (pdf)
  • D. Ott. 2011. A note on free relative clauses in the theory of phases. Linguistic Inquiry 42(1), 183–192. (pdf, doi)
  • D. Ott. 2011. Diminutive formation in German: spelling out the classifier analysis. Journal of Comparative Germanic Linguistics 14(1), 1–46. (pdf, doi)

For older publications, see my CV.

"To question the validity of generative grammar is to hold that there is no specific soundmeaning correlation, unbounded in range, that differentiates, say, English and Finnish. Since no one believes that, there can be no serious question about the validity of generative grammar, though of course that leaves open the form it might take. To question the biolinguistic conception of I-language/generative grammar is to hold that what differentiates users of English and Finnish is independent of their internal states, mostly their brains. Again, no one believes that, so there can be no serious question of the validity of this conception either."Chomsky, Noam. 2015. Some core contested concepts. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 44.1: 91–104.
"I was disappointed by this book. I was hoping to get some insight into Italian before traveling there for the first time and found the same kind of pseudoscientific nonsense that chara[c]terized my studies of Linguistics in the late 1980s. I have studied Latin, French, and Spanish, so I might have hoped that I could find an approach to Italian that could skip all the cloudy methphysics that goes into entry-level grammars. Even if you can penetrate the arcane treatment of an apparently overgeneralized subject, you may find yourself asking, What's the point? in a dialect of English that is alien to these academic types. It was expensive, too."Review of Guglielmo Cinque's Italian syntax and Universal Grammar on