About my work

What principles shape the possible structures and meanings of human language? How and to what extent do languages vary? What can previously undescribed properties of language tell us about how language works? My work explores answers to these questions through a wide range of topics, from the syntactic realization of definiteness and plurality across languages to the structures involved in clausal embedding and the ways that tonal patterns interact with morpheme order.

My primary area of specialization is syntax and its interfaces. I teach courses on syntax, semantics, typology, and fieldwork.

My work draws from languages of East and Southeast Asia and Subsaharan Africa. (I like working on languages with tone!) I have an enduring interest in Thai, which I grew up speaking as a second language and which was the topic of my dissertation.

For over ten years I have been working on Moro, an endangered Kordofanian language spoken in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan. I co-developed the Moro Story Corpus, and I am currently collaborating on a descriptive grammar of Moro as well.

Recent talks and manuscripts

To appear/under review

January 2017

November 2016

October 2016

July 2016

Publications

To appear

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

Teaching

2016-2017

2015-2016

2014-2015

2012-2013

Advising

I am especially interested in working with students who intend to pursue research programs focused on theoretical syntax, morphology, and semantics. I enjoy working with students who are fieldwork-oriented and combine novel description with theoretical analysis, and students who are interested in looking at typological patterns and trends from a theoretical perspective, both historical strengths of the UC Berkeley linguistics department.

Current students (as advisor)

Dissertation committees

In progress
2016
2015