I am an Assistant Professor (Presidential Young Professor) in Linguistics at the National University of Singapore (Department of English Language & Literature). I received my Ph.D. from MIT Linguistics in 2014. My lab investigates the structure of sentences (syntax) and how these structures map to meaning (semantics). Much of our work is based on fieldwork on understudied languages, especially of Southeast Asia. I serve as Associate Editor at Glossa and on the Editorial Boards of Natural Language & Linguistic Theory and Journal of East Asian Linguistics.
Areas of interest
- Movement: locality, extraction restrictions, interactions with case and agreement, the interpretation of movement chains
- Alternatives: focus, focus particles, questions, wh-quantification, disjunction, discourse organization (QUDs), implicature calculation
My work has investigated:
- Austronesian: Toba Batak (Indonesia), Bikol, Pangasinan (Philippines), and Squliq Atayal (Taiwan);
- Tibeto-Burman: Tibetan and Burmese;
- Mayan: Kaqchikel and Chuj (Guatemala);
- Mandarin Chinese; English; Japanese; Vietnamese; Singlish…
See the Projects page for descriptions of projects and downloadable papers.
- New paper, January 2022: “Ingredients of excess: A study of Vietnamese quá” with Anne Nguyen
- Paper accepted, November 2021: “Ā-probing for the closest DP” with Kenyon Branan, to appear in Linguistic Inquiry
- Paper accepted, November 2021: “Revisiting the form of negation in Pangasinan” with Joey Lim and Kenyon Branan, to appear in Oceanic Linguistics
- Revised paper, October 2021: “Bikol clefts and topics and the Austronesian extraction restriction” with Cheryl Lim
- Revised paper, September 2021: “Locality and (minimal) search” with Kenyon Branan, for the Cambridge Handbook of Minimalism
- June 2021: We hosted TripleA 8, the annual workshop on the semantics of understudied languages of Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania.
- Paper published (Early Access), June 2021: “A variably exhaustive and scalar focus particle and pragmatic focus concord in Burmese” with Keely New in Semantics & Pragmatics
- Paper published, May 2021: “Philippine clitic pronouns and the lower phase edge” with Ted Levin, in Linguistic Inquiry!
- May 2021: We co-hosted AFLA 28 with McGill! Joey Lim and I presented “Argument apposition in Pangasinan,” now on YouTube:
- Talk, May 2021: “Patterns of relativization in Austronesian and Tibetan” at the ICU Linguistics Colloquium, now on YouTube:
- Debate, April 2021: Kenyon Branan and I debated “Is there focus-marking in the syntax?” at GLOW 44, now on YouTube:
Less recent but still pretty good
- “Universal free choice from concessive copular conditionals in Tibetan” in the proceedings of the Tsinghua Workshop on Logic, Language, and Meaning, December 2020
- “Anti-locality and subject extraction” in Glossa, August 2020
- My lectures on focus at the Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar (SICOGG) 22, August 2020, are available on YouTube.
- “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak” in Language, September 2018