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, wh, questions, 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.
- August 2019: GLOW in Asia XI in Seoul, presenting “Wh-quantification in Alternative Semantics”
- October 2019: Stress-Free Focus Workshop in Vienna, presenting new work on “Anti-pied-piping” with Kenyon Branan
- Spring/summer 2020: AFLA 27 at NUS!
- 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.
- Talk, May 2019: I presented “The typology of nominal licensing in Austronesian voice languages” with Ted Levin and Coppe van Urk at AFLA 26.
- Talks, March–May 2019: Anne Nguyen and I presented “Ingredients of excess: A study of Vietnamese quá” at SALT 29 and the International Workshop on Degrees and Grammar
- March 2019: I received the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Award for Promising Researcher! And they wrote a profile.
- Paper published, February 2019: “Wh-indeterminates in Chuj (Mayan)” in the Canadian Journal of Linguistics.
- January 2019: I began serving on the Editorial Boards of Natural Language & Linguistic Theory and Journal of East Asian Linguistics. Send us your best work!
- January 2019: I was at the LSA and presented:
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.