• PhD
    University of California San Diego 1998

My research program focuses broadly on the relationship between language structure and language use, and particularly the ways in which linguistic forms are motivated by the functions which they serve. Particular areas of focus in my research are the phenomenon of polarity sensitivity, and the study of child language acquisition from a functional perspective

My theoretical influences are somewhat eclectic. I draw liberally from both cognitive and formal approaches to semantic structure in my work on polarity sensitivity. The Scalar Model of Polarity, which is developed in my dissertation and elsewhere, builds on earlier work by Fauconnier and Ladusaw (among others) and seeks a functional motivation for the existence of polarity items in the scalar-argumentative functions these forms serve.

My work on child language consists primarily of the ReVerb project, begun during my postdoc at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.

Dr. Michael Israel
3100 Tawes Hall
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
israel [at]