Research

Much of my research focuses on the formal syntax, morphology, and semantics of spatiotemporal grammatical phenomena cross-linguistically (especially in endangered languages) and their interactions; specifically, tense, aspect, mood/modality, and prepositional notions. I am particularly interested in what the data from these areas can tell us about the nature of the interfaces among syntax, morphology, and semantics.

I am intrigued by the interactions between aspect and nominals/nominalization cross-linguistically, and in nominal functional structure in general.

Underlyingly, I am interested in the contributions of roots and functional structure to meaning and the flexibility of categories (see my Lingua article, e.g.).

From a theoretical standpoint, I seek to test the hypothesis that morphological structure and processes are isomorphic with syntactic structure and processes. One branch of my current research focuses on the implications of so-called “multiple” or “distributed” exponence for the Distributed Morphology framework (see e.g. my article with Megan Stone in Morphology).

My published work has focused on nominal predication in Scottish Gaelic; on aspect in Scottish Gaelic, Classical Greek, Turkish, and English; on modality in Cherokee; on prepositions in American English and Scottish English; and on the syntax-semantics interface.

With Lane Schwartz at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I am working to document, digitize, and build computer tools for the St. Lawrence Island/Central Siberian Yupik language. You can learn more about our project here.

In the summers of 2018 and 2013 I spent time on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, collecting Scottish Gaelic, Scottish English, and Doric (Northeast Scots) data for work on aspect, tense, and nominalizations. My dissertation focused on grammatical aspect in Scottish Gaelic.

I was Research Associate and contributor to Andrew Carnie’s Arizona Scottish Gaelic Syntax Project.

I’ve also been involved with the University of Arizona’s Psycholinguistics and Computational Linguistics Lab on a project on lexical access in Semitic.