Much of my theoretical 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 e.g. my Lingua article).
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 Glossa article and my article with Megan Schildmier in Morphology).
My published work has focused on aspect in Scottish Gaelic, Classical Greek, Turkish, and English; on language documentation and revitalization; on nominal predication in Scottish Gaelic; on modality in Cherokee; on prepositions in American English and Scottish English; and on the syntax-semantics interface.
I am working to document temporal structures in Akuzipik St. Lawrence Island/Central Siberian Yupik and engaging in reciprocal training for community-led and -centered language documentation. With Lane Schwartz at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I am also working to document, digitize, and build computer tools for the language. You can learn more about the projects here.
In 2018, 2013, and 2022 I spent time on the Isles of Skye and Lewis in Scotland, collecting Scottish Gaelic, Scottish English, and Doric (Northeast Scots) data for work on aspect, tense, and nominalization. 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.