About

I am a fourth-year graduate student in linguistics at Harvard (CV, Twitter).  My main research areas are morphology, morphosemantics, and the syntax-semantics interface.  One area of particular interest to me is the morphosyntactic expression of polarity-sensitive (and free-choice) elements, particularly when languages uses quantifier particles to build these elements.  Other topics that I am interested in are agreement morphology, focus, synthetic/analytic alternations, allomorphy, and blocking effects.  I am advised by Jonathan Bobaljik.

I'm also an associate at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

 

Recent and Upcoming Talks

 

Recent and Ongoing Projects

Quantifier particles: Quantifier particles are a fertile area for cross-linguistic examination (see Szabolcsi 2015).  While there is significant overlap in the family of meanings that certain quantifier particles can associate with from language to language, there is at the same time a lot of divergence.  This raises intriguing questions about what semantic contributions are shared by different quantifier particles (both in one language and across languages), and what components of meaning can differ.  This is particularly interesting when considering elements that form polarity-sensitive NPs.  Adopting an alternative-semantics based theory of polarity-sensitivity (Chierchia 2013), I have recently examined the Sakha particle < даҕаны > [daγanɨ]~[daʁanɨ] (short form < да > [da]), which appears in strict NPIs, coordination (both...and and neither...nor), and even-focus constructions.

Univerbation and agreement morphemes: It is well-known that subject-agreement morphemes typically develop from personal pronouns, a historical process known as the "Subject Agreement Cycle" (see van Gelderen 2011: Chapter 2).  At the same time, verb-final languages have a preference for subject-agreement morphemes to appear as suffixes (Siewierska 2004: Chapter 7).  This raises significant questions for univerbation, the largest being why phonetically weak pronouns would ever be in a post-verbal position in verb-final languages to begin with.  This is in contrast to possessive agreement morphemes, which are often derived from genitive pronouns.  In most languages, possessive agreement morphemes appear as prefixes in [NGenitive - NPossessum] languages and suffixes in [NPossessum - NGenitive] languages, though there are notable exceptions (e.g. Uralic, Turkic, Mongolic, which have possessive suffixes despite having [NGenitive - NPossessum] order).