Contact me: eba (at) linguist (dot) umass (dot) edu
I am a fifth year PhD student in the UMass Linguistics program. My interests include the semantics of modification: I have worked on the semantics of adjectival modification and the processing of English adjectives modified by words like slightly. I am currently engaged in work that addresses the modification of nouns by apparently modal expressions.
I am especially interested in exploring the ways in which fieldwork on understudied languages (especially Navajo) can inform and enrich semantic theory.
I am also interested in the interface between linguistics and language revitalization. Even extremely rich reference materials – such as the Navajo dictionaries by Young and Morgan – lack detailed documentation of languages’ syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Linguistic research in these areas, conducted in collaboration with native speakers, can add to the existing body of linguistic documentation: documentation produced by research can aid in the development of practical language learning materials, such as (more user friendly) reference grammars and classroom materials.
This summer, I will be joining the teachers at the Navajo Language Academy in Tsaile, Arizona. I will co-teach (with Ted Fernald) a course on research methods. A broad question that will be addressed is, how can linguistic research projects be designed and carried out such that they address issues that NLA participants have expressed an interest in (e.g., language teaching, introducing language and culture, etc.)?