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.
- January 2018: I will be at the 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
- 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)!
- February 2017: We hosted GLOW in Asia XI 🌴 at the National University of Singapore!
- 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.)