Radek Šimík homepage


Recent and unpublished manuscripts


Definiteness of bare NPs as a function of clausal position: A corpus study of Czech
Radek Šimík and Markéta Burianová
submitted to Proceedings of FASL 26
We give corpus evidence (i) that the effect of clausal position of bare NPs on their (in)definiteness is real and (ii) that what matters is absolute position (clause-initial vs. clause-final) rather than relative position to the verb (preverbal vs. postverbal). The strongest effect found is a restriction on clause-initial indefinite bare NPs (in line with Geist 2010), which are almost 5x less likely to occur as compared to the null hypothesis.


The elimination of formal wh-features and a theory of free wh-movement
In this paper I argue that formal wh-features can and should be dispensed with. Wh-movement is an instance of free non-feature-driven movement. The core evidence comes from (Slavic) modal existential wh-constructions, in which the landing site of wh-movement can be CP, VP, AP, AdvP, or NP. The landing site of wh-movement in particular constructions is derived from interpretable properties of those constructions, such as the Q(uestion) feature in questions.


On free choice-like wh-based expressions in Czech
A corpus-based study exploring the distribution of four free choice-like items in Czech (leckdo, ledakdo, ledaskdo, kdekdo). These items are recognized as free choice-like because they can be used in the so-called `indiscriminative' use of free choice items (e.g. `he's not just anybody'). The study shows that they also share some distributional properties with free choice items, as most of them appear in non-episodic (generic, modal) contexts.

Recent presentations and presentations with no paper version


Epistemic indefinites under epistemic modals in Czech
Formal Descriptions of Slavic Languages (FDSL) 10, Leipzig
This handout is made available here because it contains a small corpus study of Czech epistemic indefinites that didn't fit into the proceedings paper.


Variable binding and the person case constraint
Rajesh Bhatt and Radek Šimík
Meeting of the Israel Association for Theoretical Linguistics (IATL) 25 | Beer Sheva, Israel
We characterize a restriction on clitic clusters (first observed by Roca 1992), which we call the Clitic Binding Restriction: in the presence of an indirect object clitic a direct object clitic cannot be bound. We show that this restriction is related to the more familiar Person Case Constraint (Bonet 1991) and propose a unified analysis. We also discuss some consequences for the binding theory.


Wh-words in modal existential constructions as non-canonical free choice items
Workshop of Free Choiceness: Facts, Models, and Problems | ESSLLI, Hamburg
This work capitalizes on some similarities between free choice (and more generally polarity sensitive) items and wh-words in modal existential wh-constructions (Grosu 2004).


Czech nominal attributive apposition
Workshop on Parenthesis and Sentence Amalgamation | Groningen
A small investigation into the properties of a particular kind of attributive apposition in Czech. The apposition discussed involves an invariable demonstrative pronoun `to', whose presence has both formal and semantic consequences.

Co dokáže co: interakce vidu a příčinných otázkových slov v češtině
Mezinarodní setkaní mladých lingvistů 8 | Olomouc


Why the hell what: Remarks on the syntax and semantics of 'why' and 'what' in Czech
Syntax AiO Meeting (SAM) 3 | Tilburg
On a puzzling interaction between Czech verbal aspect and two causal question words, `why' and `what'.

Teaching materials


Definiteness and articleless languages
Letní škola lingvistiky | Dačice


Motivating word order differences: Givenness and scrambling
Block seminar at the Palacký University Olomouc

Aktuální členění větné: Danost a její formální projevy
Letní škola lingvistiky | Dačice


The relation between information structure and syntax
Graduate course, winter semester | Potsdam

Issues in wh-syntax and semantics
EGG summer school 2011 | České Budějovice

Introduction to the semantics of questions
EGG summer school 2011 | České Budějovice

Annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography on modal existential wh-constructions
An updated version of the appendix from my thesis (last updated: August 2017)