I am a sixth year Linguistics Ph.D. student at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. I’m a comparative psychosyntactician: I gather and examine crosslinguistic and psycholinguistic data in order to inform and refine our syntactic theory.
It is at UMass that I found my love for psycholinguistics, which to me, is crucial in the investigation of our assumptions about language and its syntax. In my dissertation, I present experimental data that provide evidence that syntactic and pragmatic constraints jointly determine the choice of pronominal expressions for reflexives and bound variable anaphora in Romanian. This data was gathered by means of four NSF DDRI funded experiments on the comprehension and production of pronouns and anaphora in Romanian. I am also among the first linguists to investigate adult comprehension in Romanian, having also run studies on NPI illusions for strong/weak NPIs and neg-words in this negative concord language.
Here is where the comparative comes in. UMass also helped me discover my passion for fieldwork, and I have had the incredible fortune of working on binding and definite wh-phrases in Yalalag Zapotec. I have also worked on pronouns and (tensed) definite determiners in Somali with Deniz Özyıldız. Other things I’m currently working on include PCC effects and Agree-derived clitic ordering in Romanian, Binding in Vietnamese with Thuy Bui, and fake indexicals and their agreement patterns in Farsi with Zahra Mirrazi.
I am also very passionate about teaching linguistics. So much so, in fact, that I’ve developed materials for various courses I taught as a main instructor at UMass. If you’d like to peruse the course materials I designed for Introduction to Linguistics and Introduction to Syntax, you may find them here. I’ve also developed materials to help students better understand Government & Binding. Feel free to e-mail me if you’d like to have a look at those, too.
Finally, here’s something my CV won’t tell you: I am an unquestionable expert in all things Harry Potter.