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, QUDs, disjunction
- 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 (AY2020–21 Sem 2)
- March 26–28: Invited talk at (Formal) Approaches to South Asian Languages ((F)ASAL) 11
- April 15–17: Co-organizing GLOW 44 with the rest of the GLOW Board, and discussing “Is there focus-marking in the syntax?” with Kenyon Branan
- May 8: ICU Linguistics Colloquium talk
- May 25–28: Co-hosting AFLA 28 with McGill!
- June 21–27: Hosting TripleA 8!
- 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
- Talk, September 2020: “Universal free choice from concessive conditionals” at Sinn und Bedeutung 25. Watch on YouTube
- Paper published, August 2020: “Anti-locality and subject extraction”, in Glossa!
- August 20–22: We hosted AFLA 27 around the world! See the talks on YouTube!
- August 17–20: “Anti-uniqueness without articles” with Meghan Lim at SALT 30 — watch our three minute lightning talk
- August 12–14: Seoul International Conference on Generative Grammar (SICOGG) 22
- New paper, August 2020: “Anti-pied-piping” with Kenyon Branan
- Talks, July 2020: I gave two talks at Triple A 7: The semantics of African, Asian, and Austronesian languages:
- Invited talk: “Counterexpectation, concession, and free choice in Tibetan and beyond”, on YouTube
- “Definiteness and indefiniteness in Burmese” with Meghan Lim, on YouTube
- Talk, July 2020: “Patterns of relativization in Austronesian and Tibetan” at Goethe University Frankfurt, now on YouTube
- June 2020: I began serving as Associate Editor of Glossa. Send us your best work!
- Paper published, May 2020: “The typology of nominal licensing in Austronesian voice system languages” with Ted Levin and Coppe van Urk, in the Proceedings of AFLA 26
Less recent but still pretty good
- Workshop on Approaches to Wh-Intervention at NUS, June 2019
- “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