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.
- April 30–May 2: Presenting “Anti-pied-piping” with Kenyon Branan at CLS 56
- April 23–26: Presenting “Anti-uniqueness with and without articles” with Meghan Lim at SALT 30 at Cornell
- Summer 2020:
- Invited talk at Triple A 7: The semantics of African, Asian, and Austronesian languages, July 10–12
- Invited talk at Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar (SICOGG) 22, August 12–14
- We’re hosting AFLA 27 at NUS, August 20–22, 2020!
- Revised paper, March 2020: “A syntactic universal in a contact language: The story of Singlish already”
- Talk, February 2020: “Patterns of relativization in Austronesian and Tibetan” at the University of Edinburgh
- Talks, January 2020: I was at the LSA and presented…
- Talk, December 2019: “Patterns of relativization in Austronesian and Tibetan” at the Workshop on Comparative Syntax in East and Southeast Asia, Sogang University
- Revised paper, December 2019: “Bikol clefts and topics and the Austronesian extraction restriction” with Cheryl Lim
- Poster, October 2019: I presented “Counterexpectation, free choice, and concessives in Tibetan” at NELS 50
- 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
- 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