I am interested in syntactic representations: the principles / properties associated with well-formed linguistic representations and how they might be related to processing and language acquisition. Much of my research deals with clauses, attitude predicates and modals, and locality, such as the role of clauses, attitude predicates, and modals in locality phenomena such as island constraints and restructuring. Clauses and locality restrictions are interesting case studies because the form of clauses and the statement of locality restrictions vary across languages, often in subtle ways that pose major learnability problems.
To understand how these distinctions might be learned, I use conventional informal acceptability judgments, complemented with experimental syntax methods and corpus analysis. Doing so allows me to better understand the range of structures and expressions learners observe in the course of language acquisition.
As someone who grew up in a multilingual, code-switching environment, I am also interested in linguistic variation and language contact. I previously worked on the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project with Raffaella Zanuttini.
My CV can be accessed here.
Languages: English (including colloquial Singapore English), Chinese (Mandarin, Chaozhou (Southern Min)), Indonesian / Malay, some Japanese