Karen De Clercq


Contact information

Blandijnberg 2
9000 Ghent (Belgium)


Research interests

I am interested in the study of language(s) in general and in the syntax and semantics of negation and quantification in particular. I obtained my doctoral degree at Ghent University on 13 December 2013. The title of my dissertation is A Unified Syntax of Negation. I am currently working as a postdoctoral research fellow (FWO) on my own project 'The Internal Syntax of Quantifiers'.




Accepted/ to appear

Published papers

(all downloadable papers are pre-final versions)

Edited Volumes 

  • (to appear) with Baunaz, Lena; Lander, Eric and Haegeman, Liliane. Exploring Nanosyntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • with Breitbarth, Anne and Haegeman, Liliane. May 2013. Polarity Emphasis. Lingua Special Issue. 

Stays abroad

  • 1 April- 30 June 2016: Postdoctoral Research stay at Leipzig University as a member of Martin Haspelmath's research team. (with grant for a long stay abroad from FWO)
  • January-April 2012: Visiting Junior Specialist at the Linguistics Research Center at University of California Santa Cruz.
  • September 2001 - July 2002: Erasmus student at Humboldt University Berlin.


Conference and workshop presentations (based on anonymously reviewed abstracts)


  • with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. The word-morpheme distinction, an epiphenomenon?  Workshop: What is a word? University of Zürich (Zürich, 14-15 Dec 2017).
  • Neg in few/little. Poster. SinFoNIJA 10. University of Dubrovnik (Dubrovnik,  23-24 Oct 2017). 
  • with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. Reinterpreting the root suppletion generalisation. SinFoNIJA 10. University of Dubrovnik ( Dubrovnik, , 23-24 Oct 2017).
  • The internal syntax of many/much and few/little. CGSW 32. NTNU (Trondheim, 13-15 Sept 2017).
  • with Bar-Asher Siegal, Elitzur. Negative clefts breaking into the domain of standard negation: Eastern Aramaic lāw and Sicilian neca. The Negative Existential Cycle from a historical-comparative perspective. Stockholm University. (Stockholm, 4-5 May 2017)

  • A Constraint on Double Negation. with Vanden Wyngaerd Guido. (Poster) The Word and the Morpheme. Humboldt University. (Berlin, 22-24 sept 2016)
  • Decomposing Korean mos and molu: evidence from syncretisms. SinFonIJA 9, Masaryk University. (Brno, 15-17 Sept 2016)

  • Adjectives and the ban on double negation. with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. SinFonIJA 9, Masaryk University. (Brno, 15-17 Sept 2016)

  • A constraint on double negation.  with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido.  West Coast Conference of Formal Linguistics 34. Poster. (Utah, US, 29 April – 1 May 2016).

  •  The development of an external negator: the Eastern Aramaic negative polarity particle lāw. with Bar-Asher Siegal, Elitzur. Diachronic Generative Syntax 18, Ghent University (Ghent, 29 June -1 July 2016)

  • Feature Conservation: French Negation Revisited.  Diachronic Generative Syntax 18, Ghent University (Ghent, 29 June -1 July 2016)

  • The internal structure of negative morphemes. Poster. Mediterranean Morphology Meeting 10. Haifa University.(Haifa, Israel, 7-10 September 2015).
  • A Unified Syntax of Negation. New Directions in Negation and Polarity. Jerusalem Syntax and Semantics 2015. Hebrew University of Jerusalem. (Jerusalem, 8-10 February 2015).
  • The upward path of negation. Comparative Germanic Syntax Workshop 28. University of  Leipzig. (Leipzig, 4-5 October 2013).
  • The nanosyntax of negation. Decennium: The First Ten years of CASTL.  (Tromso, September 12-14 2012) (poster presentation).  
  • Getting a grip on sentence negation. 45th Annual meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. University of Stockholm. (Stockholm, 29 August-2 September 2012). 
  • No/nothing and SQUAT: syntactic negation vs. negative scope.  44th Annual meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea. Universidad de la Rioja (Logroño, 8-11 September 2011).
  • Clause Internal scrambling in English and the distribution of PP and DP-adjuncts.  with Haegeman, Liliane and Lohndal, Terje. LAGB-conference. University of Manchester (Manchester, 7-10 September 2011).
  • Negative PP-adjuncts and Scope. ConSOLE XIX. Groningen University (Groningen, 5-8 January 2011).
  • Neg-shift in English. Evidence from PP-adjuncts. SICOGG XII. Konkuk University (Seoul, South Korea, 17-20 August 2010).
  • Neg-shift in English. Evidence from PP-adjuncts. Tabu-dag. Groningen University (Groningen, 3-4 June 2010) (poster presentation). 
  • No in PPs. Evidence for Neg-shift in English. 5th Newcastle Postgraduate Conference in Linguistics. Newcastle University (Newcastle, UK, 23 March 2010).

Invited talks

  • The nanosyntax of negative markers.  Masaryk University (Brno 17 May 2017).
  • Degree morphology in Czech and Latin. Masaryk University (Brno 16 May 2017).
  • The internal structure of quantifiers. Mini-workshop on negative quantification. Goethe Uni Frankfurt. (Frankfurt-am-Main, 1 June 2016).
  • The negation continuum. Colloquium. Goethe Uni Frankfurt. (Frankfurt-am-Main, 31 May 2016).
  • Respons op Vincent van Heuven: Prosodie en zinsbouw. http://www.meertens.knaw.nl/dagnederlandsezinsbouw/?page_id=15 Dag van de Nederlandse Zinsbouw, Radboud Universiteit. (Nijmegen, 20 November 2015).

Other talks

  • with Haegeman,  Liliane. Adverbial Resumptive DIE in the Ghent Dialect. The 2nd International Workshop on Syntactic Cartography (IWSC)  (Beijing, 28-29 Oct 2017)
  • with Haegeman, Liliane. The typology of V2 and the distribution of die in the Ghent dialect. Workshop V3 and resumptive adverbials.  Ghent University (Ghent, 5-6 Oct 2017).
  • Decomposing vague quantifiers. Tin-dag, Utrecht University (Utrecht, 4 February 2017).
  • with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. Comparative root suppletion: DM vs. Nanosyntax.  Tin-dag, Utrecht University (4 February 2017).
  • with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. Adjectives and negation. Deriving contrariety from contradiction. BKL meeting, University of Antwerp (Antwerp, 6 May 2017).

  • with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. Adjectives and negation. Deriving contrariety from contradiction.  ComFort meeting, KU Leuven (Leuven, 25 April 2017).

  • The internal structure of FEW/MANY: Cross-linguistic explorations. IGRA-kolloquium. Universität Leipzig (Leipzig, 25 May 2016.)
  • Negative adjectives: Evidence from Czech. with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. Spring Meeting of the Belgian Society of Linguistics (Louvain-la-Neuve, 13 May 2016).

  • Typologie, syncretisms and nanosyntax in the analysis of negation. Diversity Linguistics Seminar. Leipzig University (Leipzig, 12 May 2016).
  • Negative Adjectives: Evidence from Czech. with Vanden Wyngard, Guido. KrowFest, celebrating Koen Roelandt's defense. KU Leuven Campus Brussels (Brussels, 1 April 2016).
  • A Puzzle in Gradable Adjectives. with Vanden Wyngaerd, Guido. Taaldag van de Belgische Kring voor Linguïstiek. Université Libre de Belgique (Brussels, 9 May 2015)
  • Getting a grip on sentence negation. Ad hoc workshop on negation. Organized by Donka Farkas.  University of California Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, 27 February 2012). USA.
  • The nanosyntax of negation. Syntax‐circle talk. University of California Santa Cruz. (Santa Cruz, 16 April 2012, USA)
  • Squat, zero and no/nothing: negative polarity vs. negative scope. GIST 3: Cartographic Structures and Beyond.  UGent (Ghent, 12-13 May 2011). 
  • No/nothing and squat: syntactic negation vs. negative scope. Taalkunde in Nederland-dag 2011. Utrecht University (Utrecht, 5 February 2011).
  • No in PP-adjuncts. Evidence for Neg-shift in English. Taaldag van de Belgische Kring voor Linguïstiek. Université Libre de Belgique. (Brussels, 8 May 2010).
  • No in PPs. Taalkunde In Nederland-dag 2010. Utrecht University (Utrecht, 6 February 2010). 
  • The syntax of no in PPs. Syntax I workshop University College Brussels (Brussels, 28 January 2010).

Curriculum Vitae

My most recent CV, list of publications and talks.