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
- syntax and semantics of focus, movement, and scope-taking
- Alternative Semantics: focus, questions, wh-quantification, disjunction, discourse structure
- the syntax of movement, case, and agreement
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.
This semester (AY2021–22 Sem 1)
- 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:</br>
- Debate, April 2021: Kenyon Branan and I debated “Is there focus-marking in the syntax?” at GLOW 44, now on YouTube:
- Talk, March 2021: Invited talk at (Formal) Approaches to South Asian Languages ((F)ASAL) 11
- New paper, February 2021: “Binding reconstruction and two modes of copy-chain interpretation”, in the Proceedings of the LSA
- New draft, February 2021: “Locality and (minimal) search” with Kenyon Branan, for the Cambridge Handbook of Minimalism. Comments welcome!
- February 2021: I am honored to have contributed to Resources for Equity and Inclusivity in Linguistics, a guidebook for conference organization in Linguistics
- January 2021: I received the Faculty Inspiring Mentor Award!
- Talks, January 2021: At the virtual LSA:
- A pair of new papers, December 2020: on nominal interpretation in Burmese with Meghan Lim:
- Paper published, December 2020: “Universal free choice from concessive copular conditionals in Tibetan”, and associated talk presented at the Tsinghua Workshop on Logic, Language, and Meaning
- Revised paper, November 2020: “Ā-probing for the closest DP” with Kenyon Branan
- Revised paper, October 2020: “Mandarin exhaustive focus shì and the syntax of discourse congruence”
- Paper published, October 2020: “Counterexpectation, concession, and free choice in Tibetan”, in the Proceedings of NELS 50
Less recent but still pretty good
- “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.
- Workshop on Approaches to Wh-Intervention at NUS, June 2019
- “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak” in Language, September 2018