I am a linguist. I hold the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland. I am also affiliated with the Maryland Language Science Center.


photoMy research interests span the linguistic sub-fields traditionally identified as syntax and morphology.

I work on phenomena that resist explanation in terms of sound and/or meaning. (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!)

Lately, I have become particularly interested in issues of modularity in grammar, and specifically in arguments for rehabilitating the role of syntactic explanation – a role which has been unduly eroded over the last two decades.

I have also started a fledgling blog where I explore some of these themes.


Topics I am interested in include:

  • predicate-argument agreement
  • case theory
  • the Person Case Constraint (PCC)
  • clitic doubling
  • head movement
  • ergativity
  • the mapping between argument-structure and syntax
  • modularity in grammar

I work on various (and often unrelated) languages, including: Basque, Icelandic, English, Hebrew, Kaqchikel, Q’anjob’al, Sakha, Kinyarwanda, Shi, Oromo, and Georgian.

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)