Research

I am a PhD candidate at UMD studying under Howard Lasnik, focusing in syntax and mathematical linguistics.

Current research

My main interests are in formal properties of syntax, and what they tell us about the architecture of the language faculty. In particular, my research has been directed at describing representations of sentences precisely, using abstractions of traditional mathematical objects that have "good" mathematical properties.

The model I've developed generalizes part-whole and dependency relations between constituents to capture grammatical relations between phrases (like complementation, specification, and adjunction), feature-configurations (like agreement), projection and endocentricity, and other basic properties of syntactic objects over the course of a derivation. We can develop formal technology for representing workspaces and their construction, syntactic operations in terms of the structural changes they induce, and many other important constructions with syntactic objects internal to categories of such models. The method is general enough to straightforwardly incorporate feature hierarchies and feature sharing structures.

A draft of my dissertation can be found here. This is the most complete and up-to-date presentation of this research, containing most of the major constructions, theorems, and proofs as well as linguistic applications. A short version is coming soon.

My 895 can be found here.

A streamlined version can be found here, though it does not explicitly describe linguistics-specific constructions. This version contains almost all of the major mathematical constructions used in the model.

I have presented this research as part of S(yntax/Semantics)-Lab, at ECO-5, and SCiL. For SCiL, there was an associated abstract, poster, and handout.

My empirical interests are centered around ECM/small clauses/ILP-SLP distinction/and categorical-thetic judgement distinction.

Past research

As an undergraduate at NYU, I did research in case theory, concerning lexical case in Icelandic.

I can be reached at zstone (at) umd (dot) edu.

1407D Marie Mount Hall