I am an assistant professor of linguistics at Wayne State University. My research is in formal semantics with a special focus on the indigenous languages of Mesoamerica (especially Mayan languages). I currently have three overlapping research projects.
Plurality Across Domains
I am interested in the following interlocked questions: (i) What sort of logic(s) do we need to model plural reference in natural language? (ii) How many varieties of plural reference are there? (ii) Do we find the same types of plural reference to individuals and events? For instance, a recent paper of mine addresses questions (i) and (ii) by proposing that a special class of indefinites in Mayan and other languages make reference to "evaluation pluralities" that are only definable in varieties of Dynamic Plural Logic. To address questions (ii) and (iii), another recent paper identifies a new type of plural reference for nouns and then shows that a common type of verbal pluractionality found in Mayan and other languages employs this type of plural reference in the event domain.
PGP: Pub Key
Structuring Updates in Dynamic Semantics
I have a second major research program in dynamic semantics. In particular, I am interested in the way that the relevant logics can allow expressions to be interpreted incrementally in-situ, but seemingly affect their update at a distance. For instance, I've done work with Adrian Brasoveanu and Scott AnderBois on a theory of appositives that allows them to be interpreted in place, but still impose their update on the context before the at-issue content. Analogously, in my work on dependent indefinites and evaluation plurality, I have worked on post-suppositions in dynamic semantics, which are conditions that can be introduced locally by quantifiers, but which act to structure quantificational alternatives at the edge of quantificational domains.
Finally, I have a longstanding interest in Mayan morphophonology. Mayan phonology is significantly less well understood than other areas of the grammar. In doing my semantics research, I have come across a series of interesting puzzles about stress and tone in K'ichean-branch Mayan languages that are too rich for even a semanticist to pass up. Much of this work, though not all, has been done in concert with Ryan Bennett.