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.
- GET1036: The Logic of Language
- EL4212: Field Methods in Linguistics (Burmese)
- Syntax/semantics reading group
- March 2019: Anne Nguyen and I will present “Ingredients of excess: A study of Vietnamese quá” at the International Workshop on Degrees and Grammar: An East Asian Perspective
- Summer 2019 [TBD]: A workshop on Approaches to Wh-Intervention at NUS, co-organized with Kenyon Branan
- June–July 2019: Hadas Kotek and I will teach a course on Locality in Syntax at the LSA Summer Institute at UC Davis!
- 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:
- Paper published, December 2018: “Even doesn’t move but associates into traces: A reply to Nakanishi 2012” in Natural Language Semantics
- Talk, December 2018: University of Tübingen colloquium
- New paper, November 2018: “A syntactic universal in a contact language: The story of Singlish already”; comments welcome!
- Talk, November 2018: University of Chicago colloquium
- New paper, October 2018: “The expression of exhaustivity and scalarity in Burmese” with Keely New, in the Proceedings of SALT 28.
- Talks, October 2018: I gave two invited talks:
- New paper, October 2018: “Focus association by movement: Evidence from binding and parasitic gaps” with Hadas Kotek, in the Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21.
- Paper published, September 2018: “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak” in Language!
- New paper, September 2018: “Bikol clefts and topics and the Austronesian subject-only extraction restriction” with Cheryl Lim
- Talks, July 2018: I gave a couple of talks in Japan:
- New paper, July 2018: “Intervention tracks scope-rigidity in Japanese” with Hadas Kotek
- Paper published, July 2018: “Focus association by movement: Evidence from Tanglewood” with Hadas Kotek in Linguistic Inquiry
- June 2018: I was in Dharamsala for one month, working on Tibetan
- May–June 2018: I taught a course on syntax and semantics of focus particles at the Linguistics Summer School in the Indian Mountains (LISSIM) 11
Less recent but still pretty good
- “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.
- “The typology of nominal licensing in Austronesian voice languages” poster with Ted Levin and Coppe van Urk, LSA 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.