Christopher Hammerly



The focus of my research is the scientific study of language as it relates to the structure of cognition. As a scientist, I see our linguistic abilities as the most useful pathway for illuminating the higher order functions of the mind. As a human, I see language as the glue that holds cultures together and the most adaptable and universal vehicle for expression.

I am of White Earth Ojibwe (Gaa-waabaabiganikaag Anishinaabeg) descent, along with scattered origins in Northern and Western Europe. My indigenous roots frame many of my goals and are a constant source of inspiration and strength in both my life and my research.

I completed my BA in linguistics and BS in psychology with minors in philosophy and French at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in spring 2014. While there, I worked with Maria Sera and Elizabeth Hoff in the Language and Cognitive Development Lab at the Institute of Child Development, and spent a lot of time talking shop with Claire Halpert. Following my time at the University of Minnesota, I was a Baggett Fellow in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Maryland. My main advisors were Omer Preminger and Naomi Feldman. I also collaborated closely with Ellen Lau and William Matchin. Between Minnesota and Maryland, I’ve worked on a whole suite of projects, which are detailed here.

I am now a third year graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where I am funded through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. I am working on Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe language) syntax, verbal morphology, and pronominal systems with Ellen Woolford and Kyle Johnson, and the interaction of agreement processing and memory with Brian Dillon, Lyn Frazier, and Adrian Staub. When I’m not doing linguistics, I like to bake bread, garden, cook, play cello, climb, bike, and camp.