Michael Yoshitaka Erlewine mitcho Singapore Assistant Professor National University of Singapore.


I am an Assistant Professor in Linguistics at the National University of Singapore (Department of English Language & Literature). I study the structure of sentences (syntax) and how these structures map to meaning (semantics). Much of my work is based on fieldwork on understudied and endangered languages. I received my Ph.D. from MIT Linguistics in 2014. In a previous life, I was active in the Mozilla (Firefox) and WordPress open-source communities.

Areas of interest

  • syntax and semantics of focus and movement
  • the syntax of case, agreement, and movement

In previous work I have investigated: Mandarin Chinese; English; Japanese; Mayan: Kaqchikel and Chuj (Guatemala); Austronesian: Squliq Atayal (Taiwan) and Batak Toba (Indonesia); Tibetan; Vietnamese…

See the new Projects page for descriptions of projects and downloadable papers.


  • January 2016: I will be at LSA 2016. Hadas Kotek and I will present “Unifying definite and indefinite free relatives: Evidence from Mayan” on Thursday.