Toby Lowther

lowthert picture

Linguistics (2020 cohort)

Although I will not property start my research project until the second year of my Master’s programme, my research will be examining various facets of the use of data in syntactic theory. There are two particular directions in which I am interested in taking this research. On the empirical side, I am interested in continuing the work of Tom Juzek, testing and evaluating grammaticality judgements previously accepted on the basis of individual intuition through experimental methods. On the epistemological side, I would like to examine the competence/performance distinction in relation to data informing theory, and the role that psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic data can play in developing and constraining syntactic theory, if any at all. Jointly, this research direction is concerned with strengthening the scientific, empirical basis for syntactic theory by examining and improving the kinds of data forming the basis for our theory.

Originally from Birmingham, UK, I studied my bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics at Oxford, which I completed with a congratulatory First class classification. I have received a number of academic prizes, including the Braddick Prize and proxime accessit for the Stephen Parkinson Prize for outstanding performance in my bachelor’s preliminary examinations, as well as undergraduate runner-up for the 6th Annual Oxford Uehiro Prize in Practical Ethics. My first academic article, a philosophical article titled “Behaviourism in Disguise: The Triviality of Ramsey Sentence Functionalism”, was published in Axiomathes in 2020 (doi: