Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Mary Amaechi

I am a visiting researcher in the Syntax Lab as part of ARiEAL’s International Scholar Award Advanced Research in Experimental & Applied Linguistics Program. I am a lecturer in the Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. I received my PhD in linguistics from the University of Potsdam, Germany in 2020. My research interests include morphosyntax, questions related to the syntax-phonology interface, the syntax of Igbo as well as language documentation. I work on topics involving wh-questions, cleft constructions, focus, serial verbs, existentials, subject-object reversal. My current research project focuses on the documentation and analysis of some aspects of the syntax in Lokaa, a Cross-River language of southern Nigeria and Osanyin spoken in a community in north-central Nigeria.

Expandable List

Lecturer I, Department of Linguistics and Nigerian Languages, University of Ilorin

  • PhD in Linguistics, University of Potsdam, Germany, 2020.
  • MA Linguistics, University of Ilorin, Nigeria, 2012
  • BA (Hons.) Linguistics, University of Ilorin, Nigeria, 2009


  • Amaechi, Mary & Nwosu, Florence C. (2023): Body-part terms in the grammar of Igbo. Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies. DOI:
  • Amaechi, Mary & Arokoyo, Bolanle E. (2022): Yoruba ní and sí: An asymmetry in the class of prepositions. Language in Africa 3(3): 87-116.
  • Georgi, Doreen & Mary Amaechi (2022): Resumption in Igbo: Two types of resumptives, complex phi- mismatches, and dynamic deletion domains. Natural Languages & Linguistic Theory (NLLT).
  • Amaechi, Mary & Doreen Georgi (2022): Focus marking strategies in Igbo. In G. Sibanda, D. Ngonyani, J. Choti & A. Biersteker (eds.), Descriptive and theoretical approaches to African linguistics: Selected papers from the 49th Annual Conference on African Linguistics. Michigan State University, 22nd-25th March 2018. Berlin: Language Science Press.
  • Amaechi, Mary (2021): Negative existentials and the topic-focus articulation in Yoruba. Journal of Linguistic Association of Nigeria (JOLAN) 24 (2): 168-186.
  • Amaechi, Mary & Doreen Georgi (2020): On optional wh-/focus fronting in Igbo: A SYN-SEM-PHON interaction. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 39(3): 299-327.
  • Amaechi, Mary & Doreen Georgi (2019): Quirks of subject (non-)extraction in Igbo. Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 4(1): 69, 1-36. DOI:
  • Amaechi, Mary (2018): Subject-object reversal in Igbo. In van Alem, A., A. Ionova & C. Pots (eds.), Proceedings of the 26th Conference of the Student Organization of Linguistics in Europe, pp. 241-263.
  • Amaechi, Mary (2018): Yes-no question formation in Igbo: The phono-syntax interface. Journal of West African Languages, 45 (1), pp. 78-87. &m=0
  • Arokoyo, Bolanle E. & Amaechi, Mary (2016): Acquisition of Yoruba Bare Nouns. In Journal of Modern Languages, 6: 24-40.
  • Amaechi, Mary (2014): The Syntax of Po Tangle Numerals. Journal of Universal Language 15 (2): 35-54.
  • Amaechi, Mary (2014): Aspects of the Structure of the Determiner Phrase in Igbo. Journal of Linguistics, Language and Culture 1 (3): 1-14.
  • 2022 (with Jens Hopperdietzel). Three types of serializing exceed comparatives in Igbo. 53rd Annual Conference on African Linguistics, hosted online by the University of California San Diego, April 7-9.
  • 2021 (with Jens Hopperdietzel and Malte Zimmermann). Complex event formation is cyclic. 54th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea (SLE), hosted online by the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece, Aug. 31 – Sept. 3.
  • 2021 The syntax of Igbo existential sentences. 10th World Conference on African Linguistics (WOCAL) online by Leiden University, June 7-12.
  • 2021 Perfective (non-)extraction in Igbo. 51-52 Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL), hosted online by the University of Florida, April 8-10.
  • 2019 On the interaction of A’-movement and negation in Igbo. Afranaph Development Workshop 3, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., December 13th-14th.
  • 2019 (with Doreen Georgi). On two types of resumption in Igbo and the nature of islands. 50th Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society (NELS 50), MIT, October 25th-27th.
  • 2019 Igbo cleft constructions. 42nd Conference of the Generative Linguistics in the Old World (GLOW 42), University of Oslo, Norway, May 7th-11th.
  • 2019 (with Doreen Georgi). On optional wh-/focus fronting in Igbo: A SYN-SEM-PHON interaction. 41st Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society, Universität Bremen, March 6th-8th.
  • 2018 On the two kinds of wh-questions in Igbo. 48th Colloquium on African Languages and Linguistics, Universiteit Leiden, The Netherlands, August 30th – September 1st.
  • 2018 (with Malte Zimmermann). Event semantics of serial verb constructions in Igbo. The 5th Semantics of African, Asian and Austronesian Languages, Universität Konstanz, June 27th-29th.
  • 2018 (with Doreen Georgi). On subject/non-subject extraction asymmetries in Igbo. 40th Annual Conference of the German Linguistic Society (DGfS 40), Universität Stuttgart, March 7th-9th.
  • 2014 Yes-No Questions in Igbo: The Phonology Syntax Interface. First Linguistics and African Languages International Conference, Kwara State University, Malete, Nigeria, March 20th-22nd.
  • 2013 Plural Formation in Koring. Joint 26th West African Linguistic Society and 50th Linguistic Association of Nigeria Conference, University of Ibadan, Nigeria, July 29th – August 2nd.