Michelle Troberg

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Linguistics
Language Studies

Michelle Troberg's main interests lie in language change: correlations (what structural changes tend to co-occur), directionality, triggers (internal or external causes of change), and the acquisition process as the explanatory force behind diachronic change.

She works principally on syntactic change in the history of French and how it relates to changes in other Romance languages. Her research has focused on the first phase syntax/semantics of the verb phrase and has led her to examine various kinds of verbal arguments in Romance, both synchronically and diachronically. Simply put, she is interested in the interactions among prepositions, particles, verbs, and their arguments: direct, indirect, oblique, and otherwise.

As a teaching-stream faculty member, she is engaged in curriculum and programming design, teaching and learning writing in the discipline, and integrating research into undergraduate education. In the not-too-distant past, she investigated the role learning analytics can play in online education and the ways critical pedagogy can effectively be implemented in large online courses.


Current Courses

  • Language Diversity and Language Universals
  • Historical Linguistics
  • Romance Linguistics
  • Contact Languages: Pidgins, Creoles and Mixed Languages
  • Topics in Language Change
  • Syntactic Patterns
  • Introduction to General Linguistics: Words, Sentences, their Structure and Meaning


  • 2022. Syntactic Glosses and Historical Syntax. (M. Troberg & J. Whitman) In L. Grestenberger, C. Reiss, H. A. Fellner, and G. Z. Pantillon (eds), Ha! Linguistic Studies in Honor of of Mark R. Hale, 369-394. Weisbaden: Reichert Verlag. View and download.
  • 2021. On the unified change of directional/aspectual verb particles in French. (M. Troberg & J. Leung) Journal of Historical Syntax 5(40): 1-79. View and download.
  • 2020. Les prépositions orphelines : un réexamen à la lumière du SP étendu. In Hommages à Yves Roberge : clitiques, éléments nuls, et autres problèmes de syntaxe et d’acquisition, M. Troberg & S. Tailleur (eds), pp.185-206. Special issue of Arborescences. Montreal: Érudit. View and download.
  • 2017. From Latin to Modern French: A punctuated shift. (M. Troberg & H. Burnett) In E. Mathieu and R. Truswell Micro-change and Macro-change in Diachronic Syntax, 104-124. Oxford University Press. View and download. 
  • 2016. Les facteurs de choix de l’auxiliaire en ancien français: étude quantitative. (P. Caudal, H. Burnett & M. Troberg) In S. Prévost and B. Fagard, Le français en diachronie: dépendances syntaxiques, morphosyntaxe verbale, grammaticalisation, 218-237. Bern: Peter Lang. View and download.
  • 2014. Le prédicat résultatif adjectival en français médiéval. (M. Troberg & H. Burnett) Linguisticae Investigationes 37(1) : 152-176. View and download. 
  • 2009. The high applicative syntax of the dativus commodi/incommodi in Romance. (Y. Roberge & M. Troberg) Probus 21(2) : 247-287. View and download. 



Linguistic Studies