Welcome!

I am a Fellow by Examination (equivalent to a postdoc) at Magdalen College at the University of Oxford. My primary interests are in syntax and prosody, in particular the mapping between the two, with ellipsis (silent syntactic structure) and focus in coordination as a critical case study. I ask questions such as: what sort of syntactic information is visible to prosody? What are the similarities and differences between syntactic structure and prosodic structure? Can we find prosodic evidence of phonologically empty material, such as elided material? In this study of the syntax-prosody interface, I use knowledge about syntax and semantics that I gained from previous work on the syntax of coordination and ellipsis in English, as well as skills in experimental prosody and phonetics that I got from previous experimental work on the prosody of focus in English and Zulu.

I think theoretical linguistics should connect and interact with fields that explore the same questions using different methods, such as experimental linguistics and computational linguistics. I also think that linguistics is ultimately a part of cognitive science, and hope that all the proposals I make about human language are cognitively realistic, learnable and evolvable.

In an effort to bridge MIT Linguistics, Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and Computer Science, I created a linguistics course for cognitive scientists and computer scientists at MIT in Fall 2019. The inspiration for this course came from my experience of co-organizing CompLang, a weekly discussion group among the three departments that touch on high-level questions like what scientific questions are central to our study, and what kinds of evidence are considered the most important.