Research


My current projects:
Decomposing “say” complementizers
Complementizers derived from “say” are common across the world’s languages and exhibit a variety of unique properties. I am in the process of conducting a series of case-studies to determine the extent to which these complementizers are truly semantically vacuous, functional elements, as opposed to to exhibiting a wider range of verbal properties. Depending on the precise behavior of these complementizers, I am working to modify the syntactic/semantic representations accordingly. This work includes analysis of case/agreement, semantics/pragmatics, and the prosodic properties of clauses introduced by “say” and “say” complementizers. This investigation currently includes data from Uyghur, Kazan Tatar, Kazakh, Turkish, Ibibio, and Avatime.

Serial Verb Constructions
Not unrelated to “say” complementizers, the ways in which languages describe sequences of events or simultaneous events is also quite interesting. The morphological strategies, corresponding syntactic structures, and interpretation of each event or succession of events seems to vary significantly across languages. This project also consists of case studies in Uyghur, Kazan Tatar, Turkish, Ibibio, and Avatime.

Uyghur Intonation
My interests in Uyghur syntax and semantics have lead me to realize that intonation often serves as a critical cue for resolving ambiguities in other domains. In order to look at specific phenomena involving the intonation system and its interfaces with syntax and semantics, I have been developing a broader auto-segmental metrical model for Uyghur intonation in general (in collaboration with Connor Mayer).

Uyghur Consonant and Vowel Harmony
Uyghur exhibits both consonant and vowel harmony, which are both complicated by the presence of two transparent vowels. Connor Mayer, Mahire Yakup, and I have run two production experiments in order to investigate the precise empirical properties of Uyghur consonant and vowel harmony and the status of transparent vowels. Furthermore, Connor Mayer and I have presented work that suggests this phenomena challenges the tier-based strict locality hypothesis for segmental phonological processes.

Fieldwork
I am actively researching languages from both the Turkic and Niger-Congo families:

    Turkic Languages:

  • Uyghur: spoken primarily in China, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Kazan Tatar: spoken primarily in Tatarstan, Russia.
  • Turkish: spoken primarily in Turkey.
    Niger-Congo:

  • Ibibio: spoken in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria.
  • Avatime: spoken in Volta Region, Ghana.

Publications


  • Communicative Reception Reports as Hear-say: Evidence from Indexical Shift in Turkish (with Deniz Özyildiz and Emar Maier). Proceedings of West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics 36. UCLA, California. handout / paper
  • A challenge for tier-based strict locality from Uyghur backness harmony (with Connor Mayer). Proceedings of Formal Grammar 2018. Sofia, Bulgaria. slides / paper
  • Towards a Phonological Model of Uyghur Intonation (with Connor Mayer). Proceedings of Speech Prosody 9. Poznan Poland. paper
  • Latent homomorphism and content satisfaction: The double life of Turkic auxiliary -(˙I)p bol-, (with Andrew McKenzie and Gülnar Eziz) in Glossa: a journal of general linguistics(3)1, 47. paper