Syntactic theory at the interfaces

The main focus of my research is grammatical theory. I work particularly on questions that arise where syntactic theory comes into contact with theories of the syntax-semantics interface (argument structure, aspect) and morphology. Some areas I have worked on include:

  • Argument interpretation: Thematic roles; resultatives; middles; abilitatives
  • Building verbal meanings: Complex statives; causatives; get-passives
  • The morphosyntactic structure of tense/ mood/ aspect phenomena

I have also worked on other areas of the extended verbal domain, for example in A-movement and c/Case, and root/ embedded distinctions. I have a background working on Chinese languages and English, but more generally enjoy working on understudied phenomena and languages.

Morphosyntactic variation

My research also engages with formal questions in linguistic variation - 'variation' both in a cross-linguistic sense, and with respect to questions and data usually associated with sociolinguistic research, as well as dialect morphosyntax. The subareas I work on concern what morphosyntactic variability and change reveal about the architecture generating it, and the nature of the connection between the formal system and systems of use.

Some topics I have worked on include...

  • Variable preposition deletion in ditransitives and its interaction with passivization in Northwest British English varieties
  • Variable deletion of phonologically heavy prepositions marking external arguments in varieties of Indonesian
  • The syntax and semantics of done my homework statives in Philadelphia and various other Englishes, and methods in morphosyntactic variation data collection