My research and instruction asks questions about the mental data structures of syntactic representation and the interface between language structure and memory. For example:
- how are linguistic representations segmented in memory?
- what are the mechanisms for the prediction and retrieval of syntactic information?
- how do linguistic feature systems control access to constituent encodings?
- how do grammatical principles and extra-linguistic constraints interact?
An important current research project is incremental comprehension in Chamorro. Chamorro is a verb-initial Austronesian language with an intricately interacting system of movement, case, and agreement. My collaborators and I are investigating how syntax-morphology interactions impact the comprehender's expectations and how different sources of expectation guide early interpretation. This forms part of an effort to increase the contribution to psycholinguistic theory made by 'small' languages. We conduct our research in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. With: Sandra Chung (UCSC) and Manuel F. Borja (Inetnon Åmot yan Kutturan Natibu, CNMI; [photo]). Our research is supported by the NSF (Award #1251429).
I've also worked on appropriate methods for eliciting judgments in semantics/pragmatics experiments (joint work with Pranav Anand, & Donka Farkas).