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 languages, especially of Southeast Asia. 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, movement, and scope-taking
- Alternative Semantics: focus, questions, wh-quantification, QUDs, disjunction
- the syntax of movement, case, and agreement
My work has investigated:
- Austronesian: Toba Batak (Indonesia), Bikol (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.
- Late October 2019: NELS 50, presenting the poster “Counterexpectation, free choice, and concessives in Tibetan”
- Mid-December 2019: Workshop on Comparative Syntax in East and Southeast Asia, Sogang University, Korea
- January 2020: LSA
- June 2020: AFLA 27 at NUS, June 4–6, 2020!
- New paper, October 2019: “The typology of nominal licensing in Austronesian voice system languages” with Ted Levin and Coppe van Urk, to appear in Proceedings of AFLA 26
- Postdoc opening! I’m hiring a post-doc in syntax and/or semantics. Come join us and do some great work in Singapore!
- Talks, October 2019: Kenyon Branan and I presented our joint work on “Anti-pied-piping” at two different venues: the University of Southern California and at the Stress-Free Focus Workshop in Vienna
- Talk, September 2019: “Patterns of relativization in Austronesian and Tibetan” at the University of Helsinki
- New paper, September 2019: “Long-distance dependencies in continuation grammar” with Cara Su-Yi Leong, presented at PACLIC 33
- Paper accepted, September 2019: “Philippine clitic pronouns and the lower phase edge” with Ted Levin, to appear in Linguistic Inquiry!
- New paper, September 2019: Anti-locality and subject extraction. Comments welcome!
- New paper, July 2019: A variably exhaustive and scalar focus particle and pragmatic focus concord in Burmese with Keely New. Comments welcome!
- July 2019: We organized the first (and not last) Singapore Summer Meeting, an informal meeting for fieldworkers. I presented on a focus particle in Tibetan.
- June–July 2019: Fieldwork in Dharamsala, India
- June 2019: I began serving on the Editorial Board of Glossa. Send us your best work!
- June 2019: Kenyon Branan and I held a workshop on Approaches to Wh-Intervention at NUS.
Less recent but still pretty good
- “Even doesn’t move but associates into traces: A reply to Nakanishi 2012” in Natural Language Semantics, December 2018
- “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak” in Language, September 2018
- “Focus association by movement: Evidence from Tanglewood” with Hadas Kotek in Linguistic Inquiry, July 2018
- “Clausal comparison without degree abstraction in Mandarin Chinese” in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, May 2018.
- Workshop on Current Issues in Comparative Syntax at NUS, March 2018.
- “Vietnamese focus particles and derivation by phase” in the Journal of East Asian Linguistics, November 2017.
- Workshop on Quirks of Subject Extraction at NUS, August 2017. I also presented my own work on anti-locality approaches to quirks of subject extraction.