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 and endangered languages. 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, disjunction
- the syntax of movement, case, and agreement
My work has investigated: Mandarin Chinese; English; Japanese; Austronesian: Toba Batak (Indonesia) and Squliq Atayal (Taiwan); Mayan: Kaqchikel and Chuj (Guatemala); Tibetan; Vietnamese…
See the Projects page for descriptions of projects and downloadable papers.
- November 2017: I will be in Tokyo, presenting…
- “Intervention tracks scope-rigidity in Japanese” with Hadas Kotek at Logic and Engineering of Natural Language Semantics 14, Tokyo, November 13–15;
- “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak” at Sophia University, November 16 at 3:30pm: Yotsuya campus room 6-306.
- December 2017: Amsterdam Colloquium 2017 presenting “Movement and alternatives don’t mix: Evidence from Japanese” with Hadas Kotek
- January 2018: LSA in Salt Lake City, presenting…
- March 2018: “The role of nominal licensing in Austronesian voice systems” with Ted Levin and Coppe van Urk at the Syntactic asymmetries workshop at DGfS
- November 2017: I edited the Proceedings of GLOW in Asia XI, showcasing work from the conference we held in Singapore earlier this year. It has now appeared with MIT Working Papers in Linguistics! It makes a great gift for friends and family.
- Paper online, October 2017: “Clausal comparison without degree abstraction in Mandarin Chinese”, to appear with Natural Language & Linguistic Theory, is now “online first”
- Paper accepted, September 2017: “Even doesn’t move but associates into traces” has been accepted with Natural Language Semantics, pending minor revisions.
- August 2017: I held a “Workshop on Quirks of Subject Extraction” at NUS. I also presented my own work on anti-locality approaches to quirks of subject extraction.
- Talk, July 2017: I presented new joint work with Theresa Helke, “Rules of inference and the restrictor view of conditionals,” at the Sapporo Semantics Workshop.
- New paper, July 2017: “Two disjunctions in Mandarin Chinese”. Comments welcome!
- Paper revised, July 2017: “Extraction and licensing in Toba Batak. See also the associated talk, presented at GLOW 40 etc.
- Talk, June 2017: “The limits of relexification: The story of Singlish already” at the summer conference of the Society of Pidgin and Creole Linguistics.
- Talk, June 2017: “Quantifying over alternatives with Toba Batak manang” at Triple A 4, a workshop for semantic fieldworkers. Comments welcome!
- New paper, June 2017: “On the unavailability of argument ellipsis in Kaqchikel” with Ted Levin to appear in Proceedings of FAMLi 4.
- Paper updated, May 2017: Posted the final, accepted version of my paper on the Mandarin bǐ comparatives, to appear in Natural Language & Linguistic Theory!
- Paper online, May 2017: “Vietnamese focus particles and derivation by phase”, to appear with the Journal of East Asian Linguistics, is now “online first”
- Public talk, May 2017: I led a workshop on language documentation and the grammar of Kristang at the first ever Festa di Papia Kristang (Kristang Language Festival)! <!–
- New paper, February 2017: “Focus association by movement: Evidence from binding and parasitic gaps” with Hadas Kotek, to appear in Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 21.
- New paper, Feburary 2017: “Constraints on constrast sluicing” with Teruyuki Mizuno, to appear in Japanese/Korean Linguistics 24.
- Paper published, February 2017: “Why the null complementizer is special in complementizer-trace effects” has appeared in A Pesky Set: Papers for David Pesetsky! I also designed the cover.
- Paper published, January 2017: “Low sentence-final particles in Mandarin Chinese and the Final-over-Final Constraint” has appeared in Journal of East Asian Linguistics 26! (See also a recent talk based on this paper.) –>