Department of Linguistics
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
105 Smith Building, CB#3155
Chapel Hill, NC 27599

Email: hsub [at]

Hello! I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My research interests are in syntax and phonology, and occasionally their interfaces. Broadly, I study the sources of word-order variation, the effects of morpho-syntactic factors on phonological processes, and the mental representation of optionality and exceptionality in language. My recent work has examined the syntax of functional projections and head movement (in clauses and nominal expressions), generative approaches to optionality in phrasal movement, and interactions between scalar constraints and gradient symbolic representations in Harmonic Grammar.

More of my previous and ongoing work can be found on the Research page.

I pronounce my family name as [ɕy] with a rising tone in Taiwanese Mandarin, [ʃu] (like ‘shoe’) in English.

New and forthcoming papers:

  • Hsu, Brian. Accepted with minor revisions. Gradient symbolic representations in Harmonic Grammar. Language and Linguistics Compass [submitted draft]
  • Hsu, Brian and Yiwen Peng. Positions of Mandarin classifiers in and out of compounds: implications for distinctness, selection, and projection. Submitted to WCCFL 39 proceedings. [submitted draft on Lingbuzz]

Recent presentations:

  • November 19, 2021. (with Benjamin Frey). Clausal word order in Cherokee: a corpus approach and its formal implications. UC Davis Language Group. [slides]
  • October 31, 2021. (with Yiwen Peng). Phase extension and distinctness effects in Mandarin Chinese classifier co-occurrence: implications for cartography. Talk at NELS 52. [abstract and slides on OSF]

Recent papers:

Some less recent papers: