Downloadable papers and manuscripts

Relative clause subextraction in English (paper | supplemental)
D-raising in Chamorro relative clauses and other A′ constructions. (paper)

Current research

Extraction from relative clauses in English
Relative clauses (RCs) are a prototypical example of a strong island, but certain languages have been shown to selectively tolerate RC subextraction (Mainland Scandinavian languages, certain Romance languages, Hebrew, and others). For subextraction to be licit in these languages, the DP that hosts the RC typically needs to be the pivot of a canonical or non-canonical existential, or otherwise non-presupposed.

It hasn't been heavily researched whether these patterns extend to English as well, but some research suggests that it does (see, e.g., Chung & McCloskey 1983 and Kush et al. 2013). I am currently using experimental methods to investigate whether English also selectively tolerates RC subextraction. So far, I have found that English RCs are substantially more transparent to extraction in existentials, as well as in predicate nominals (as found by Sichel 2018 for Hebrew). I have written about these results here, and you can find my experiment notebooks here. I plan to investigate the online processing of RCs in these environments, and to address the question of whether these cases of improved RC subextraction should be generated by the grammar.

Internally headed relative clauses in Chamorro
Chamorro has a typologically rare construction in which a noun phrase being modified by a relative clause surfaces within that relative clause, as shown below.

'The child [who sat in the chair] laughed.'

I am researching Chamorro's head-internal relative clauses in relation to the language's head-initial and head-final relative clauses, and am developing an analysis of them that explains their island-sensitivity, the mandatory presence of the linker particle na directly before the internal head noun, certain interpretive effects, and their surface-similarity to stranding patterns in other A-bar contexts. You can read my MA thesis on this topic here.

Other research

Rhyme in Chamorro poetry
In an undergraduate project, I analyzed 106 of Joaquin F. Borja's rhyme pairs from the collection of Chamorro literature Istreyas Marianas: Chamorro. Approximately 25% of the rhyme pairs there have strict rhyme (= identical from the vowel of the stressed syllable to the end of the word), and the remainder have what I called abstract rhyme, which seems to creatively utilize abstract associations between classes of segments established by the phonological processes in Chamorro grammar. The use of abstract rhyme results in a broad (yet orderly) range of licit rhyming pairs. (handout)