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, movement, and scope-taking
- Alternative Semantics: focus, wh, questions, QUDs, disjunction
- the syntax of movement, case, and agreement
My work has investigated: Mandarin Chinese; English; Japanese; Austronesian: Toba Batak (Indonesia) and Squliq Atayal (Taiwan); Mayan: Kaqchikel and Chuj (Guatemala); Tibetan; Vietnamese; Burmese…
See the Projects page for descriptions of projects and downloadable papers.
- GET1036 The Logic of Language
- Syntax/semantics reading group
- I’m hiring!! Two two-year post-docs to work on the syntax and/or semantics of Southeast Asian languages through original fieldwork. Apply now!
- March 30, 2018: I will present “A syntactic universal in a contact language: The story of Singlish already” at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok
- May 2018: Cheryl Lim and I will present “Agent extraction and topicalization in Bikol” at AFLA 25 at Academia Sinica.
- May 2018: Keely New and I will present our poster “The expression of exhaustivity and scalarity in Burmese” at SALT 28 at MIT.
- Paper accepted, March 2018: “Wh-indeterminates in Chuj (Mayan)” with Hadas Kotek has been accepted with the Canadian Journal of Linguistics
- Paper online, March 2018: “Even doesn’t move but associates into traces,” to appear in Natural Language Semantics, is now “online first”
- March 2018: We hosted a Workshop on Current Issues in Comparative Syntax, where I talked about Singlish.
- Talks, January 2018: I was at the LSA in Salt Lake City, presenting…
- Paper accepted, December 2017: “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak has been accepted with Language! See also the associated talk.
- New paper, December 2017: “Movement and alternatives don’t mix: Evidence from Japanese” with Hadas Kotek, in the Proceedings of the 21st Amsterdam Colloquium
- Paper published, November 2017: “Vietnamese focus particles and derivation by phase” has appeared in a special issue on Vietnamese syntax/semantics of the Journal of East Asian Linguistics.
- New paper, November 2017: “Intervention tracks scope-rigidity in Japanese” with Hadas Kotek, in the Proceedings of LENLS 14
- November 2017: I edited the Proceedings of GLOW in Asia XI, showcasing work from the conference we held in Singapore in early 2017. It has now appeared with MIT Working Papers in Linguistics! It makes a great gift for friends and family.
- Paper online, October 2017: “Clausal comparison without degree abstraction in Mandarin Chinese”, to appear with Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, is now “online first”
- August 2017: I held a “Workshop on Quirks of Subject Extraction” at NUS. I also presented my own work on anti-locality approaches to quirks of subject extraction.