I am an Associate Professor (Presidential Young Professor) in Linguistics at the National University of Singapore and currently a Core Fellow at the University of Helsinki’s Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies. 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: (anti-)locality, (anti-)pied-piping, extraction restrictions, interactions with case and agreement, the interpretation of movement chains
- Focus and alternatives: focus particles, questions, wh-quantification, disjunction, discourse organization (QUDs), implicature calculation
My work has investigated:
- Austronesian: Toba Batak, Rejang (Sumatra), Bikol, Pangasinan, Kapampangan (Philippines), Desa, Kayan (Borneo), and Squliq Atayal (Taiwan);
- Tibeto-Burman: Tibetan and Burmese;
- Mayan: Kaqchikel and Chuj (Guatemala);
- Mandarin Chinese; English; Japanese; Vietnamese; Singlish; Turkish…
See the Projects page for descriptions of projects and downloadable papers.
- September 2023: Tbilisi Symposium 14, presenting “Cross-linguistic variation in ordinary vs interrogative disjunctions”
- October 2023: Invited talk at the conference on adverbial clauses, University of Göttingen
- October 2023: AFLA 30, presenting on Malayic voice and extraction with Carly Sommerlot and on Tagalog clitic adverb semantics with Henrison Hsieh
- Talk, August 2023: “Pronoun-voice interaction in Uma Nyaving Kayan” with Alex Smith and Carly Sommerlot at APLL 15
- Paper published, August 2023: “Bikol clefts and topics and the Austronesian extraction restriction” with Cheryl Lim, in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory
- Talk, August 2023: “Malayic active voice meN-: One prefix or two?” with Carly Sommerlot, at the Turku affixes symposium
- Paper published, July 2023: “A syntactic universal in a contact language: The story of Singlish already” in Discourse particles in Asian languages volume 2: Southeast Asia
- Talk, July 2023: “On the scope and position of Tagalog clitic adverbs” with Henrison Hsieh at JSLS 24
- Talk, June 2023: Plenary talk at the International Symposium on Linguistics, Language Applications and Translation Studies at City University of Hong Kong
- Talk, May–June 2023: “Learning the organization of the verbal phase in Philippine-type and Indonesian-type languages” at ISMIL 26 and the Newcastle Verbal Domains workshop (online)
- Paper published, May 2023: “Deriving scrambling with word order freezing” with Joey Lim has appeared in Glossa!
- Paper accepted, May 2023: “Ingredients of excess: A study of Vietnamese quá” with Anne Nguyen was accepted with revisions in Asian Languages and Linguistics
Less recent but still pretty good
- August 2022 NUS news feature
- “Ā-probing for the closest DP” with Kenyon Branan, to appear in Linguistic Inquiry
- “A variably exhaustive and scalar focus particle and pragmatic focus concord in Burmese” with Keely New in Semantics & Pragmatics, June 2021
- “Patterns of relativization in Austronesian and Tibetan” talk at the ICU Linguistics Colloquium, May 2021, available on YouTube.
- “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.