About me

I am a fifth-year PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I am primarily interested in theoretical and experimental approaches to argument structure; in particular, I focus on questions about how verbs’ and their arguments’ meanings relate to the syntactic structures they occur in.

Recently, I have done experimental work on the English dative alternation, and formal work on the syntax and semantics of adjectival passives, as well as on an aspectual (eventive/stative) alternation shared by object experiencer, location, and govern-type verbs, which I argue is a kind of double-object causative-inchoative alternation. I have also collaborated with Rong Yin on the syntax and semantics of argument and adjunct coordination in Spanish.

Currently, I am investigating the processing of filler-gap dependencies with transitive and intransitive verbs, as well as with subject and object experiencer verbs, using eye-tracking measures. I am currently a research assistant for Shota Momma, with whom I am investigating verb and dependency planning in sentence production.

My dissertation (in progress) investigates what argument structure alternations tell us about the typology of verbal predicates and the syntax/lexicon/semantics interface.

I have also worked on the acquisition of recursion with a large research group headed by Tom Roeper. For this project, I developed an experiment to test the acquisition of possessive recursion in English, which has recently been adapted and run in Mandarin.

Email: ma(last name) at linguist dot umass dot edu