I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland, and a Research Assistant Professor at the Maryland Language Science Center. I am also the Associate Director of the UMD-LSC Guatemala Field Station.photo

My research interests span the linguistic sub-fields traditionally identified as syntax and morphology. I am particularly interested in phenomena that resist explanation in terms of sound and/or meaning alone. (If you are unfamiliar with linguistics, the very idea that such phenomena exist might strike you as a little bit counterintuitive. But phenomena of this sort are surprisingly common in natural language.)

I work on various (and often unrelated) languages, including:

  • Basque
  • (modern) Hebrew
  • Kaqchikel, Q’anjob’al (Mayan)
  • Sakha (Turkic)
  • Kinyarwanda, Shi (Bantu)
  • Oromo (Cushitic)
  • Georgian (Kartvelian)

Topics I have worked on include:

  • predicate-argument agreement
  • case theory
  • clitic doubling, and its relation to head movement & phrasal movement
  • locality & anti-locality
  • the nature of ergativity, and the mechanisms underlying split-ergativity & syntactic ergativity
  • non-canonical wh-constructions
  • the mapping between argument-structure and syntax

See my research page for further details.  

And now, a linguistic Dinosaur Comic:

linguistic dinosaur comic

(made using the blank Dinosaur Comic template, available here)