Thomas Grano

Thomas Grano

Associate Professor, Linguistics

Director of Graduate Studies


  • Ph.D., University of Chicago, 2012

Research interests

  • semantics
  • syntax-semantics interface
  • cross-linguistic variation
  • tense/aspect/modality
  • complement clauses
  • gradability and comparison
  • Chinese linguistics

About Thomas Grano

I am interested in the relationship between meaning and form, and how this relationship can and cannot vary from one language to the next. Most of my research lately deals in some way or another with nonfinite complementation and its cross-linguistic kin. My 2015 Oxford University Press book Control and Restructuring is a progress report, focusing on high-level cross-linguistic generalizations across semantic families of embedding verbs and making sense of these generalizations in a highly articulated Cinque-style architecture for the syntactic encoding of various kinds of modal and aspectual categories. My current work deals with many of the same questions, but with greater focus on the fine-grained semantics of particular verbs and how they interact compositionally with their complements to yield particular kinds of semantic and syntactic effects. Some of my driving questions are: (1) What do nonfinite-complement-taking verbs like want, try, manage, intend, begin and persuade denote and how do they interact compositionally with the denotations of their nonfinite complements? (2) What can we learn about the meanings of these verbs by manipulating the syntactic shapes of their complements and observing how these manipulations affect the acceptability and/or truth conditions of the relevant sentences? (3) How much uniformity is there from one language to the next in the syntactic behavior of these verbs, and to what extent does the observed syntactic uniformity reflect semantic uniformity in how different languages lexicalize the relevant concepts and integrate them compositionally into the sentences they inhabit?