Blog

Algonquian 49 at Université de Montréal

I will be presenting my ongoing work on the VOS/VSO alternation in Ojibwe at the The 49th Algonquian Conference at the Université de Montréal on October 29th. I argue that the alternation can be accounted for by the generalization that the highest obviative marked argument be moved to a projection (likely the aspectual projection) the middle field. I show all other movements are ungrammatical, as they violate relativized minimality.

CUNY 2017 at MIT

I will be presenting joint work with Brian Dillon next week at CUNY 2017 at MIT. The poster, entitled Restricting domains of retrieval: Evidence for clause-bound processing from agreement attraction, presents three experiments that argue clauses play a role in restricting how retrieval in long-distance dependencies occur. The crucial finding, that the content within clausal and phrasal modifiers are not equally available, extends the finding of Bock & Cutting 1992 to processing and motivates a revision of the cue-based retrieval model of Lewis & Vasishth 2005, who predict effects in the opposite direction.

The poster session will take place Friday, March 31 from 12pm-2pm. At this time, an electronic copy will be made available here.

fMRI study on syntactic prediction out now in Cortex

Out now in Cortex is a collaborative study with William Matchin (UC San Diego) and Ellen Lau (University of Maryland) entitled The role of the IFG and pSTS in syntactic prediction: Evidence from a parametric study of hierarchical structure in fMRI. We dissociate the brain regions responsible for syntactic prediction, verbal working memory, structure building, and semantic combination. The major finding highlights the importance of distinguishing between regions that facilitate syntactic processing (e.g. working memory and top-down prediction) with those that are responsible for incrementally building syntactic and semantic representations.

The full paper can be found from the publisher or in the writing section of my website.

Gender, Class, and Determination in Ottawa

On September 18th I’ll be presenting my most recent research on French and nominal interpretation entitled “Limiting Gender” at Gender, Class, and Determination: A Conference on the Nominal Spine at the University of Ottawa. I propose (1) that word roots are productive in how they are nominalized and specified for gender, and (2) that this process is constrained by the ability to apply a coherent semantic interpretation to the combination of root and nominal class. Look for the abstract and handout from the conference here.