My research primarily focuses on phonology, the study of sound-structure systems in language, and syntax, the study of sentence structure. Additionally, I am interested in linguistic fieldwork on the languages of Mesoamerica, in particular languages belonging to the Oto-Manguean language family. Other areas that I focus on includes questions about the phonology and syntax of the Celtic and Germanic languages from the Indo-European family.

Phonological interfaces

One of the major areas of my research is investigation the interaction of phonology with the other components of grammar. This includes how phonology influences (and is influenced by) phonetics, morphology, and syntax.

Phonetics-Phonology Interface

The phonetics-phonology interface is concerned with questions about how the abstract mental representations of sound systems are actually produced and what drives the variation that we observe in the production of these mental representations. Currently, Grant McGuire and myself are exploring the production of laryngealized vowels in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec and the differences that speakers exhibit in the production of this phonemic category.

Additionally, I am researching the interaction of tone and phonation in Zapotec and determining to what extent tone and phonation is actually phased with respect to one another according to the Laryngeal Complexity Hypothesis.

Syntactic and Prosodic movement of pronominals

One area of particular interest is providing syntactic and phonological accounts for the displacement of pronominals. One of the cases involve pronominal Object Shift which involved a collaboration with Eirik Tengesdal from Universitetet i Oslo on providing an analysis of pronominal object shift and its interaction with verbal particles and adverbs in Mainland Scandinavian. I am also investigating the difference between full DP Object shift that we observe in Icelandic versus scrambling in other Germanic languages.

In addition to Object Shift, I have been researching the principles that govern Negatitive Indefinite Shifting in Scandinavian languages, which was the topic of my first qualifying paper.

Santiago Laxopa Zapotec

I am a member of the Zapotec Language Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In conjunction with Maya Wax Cavallaro and John (Jack) Duff, we are working on understanding the tonal system in Santiago Laxopa Zapotec and how it interacts with the syntax-prosody interface, word and sentence stress, and phonation.