Photo: Bee in the Mirabellgarten, Salzburg

Research and papers

Research interests

Research interests as keywords (generated by Wordle) My main interest is theoretical syntax, with a focus on cross-linguistic word order and parametric variation.

I have previously worked on the EPP and the position of subjects and expletives within the clause, focussing particularly on Icelandic. My doctoral research investigates how rigidly and partially head-final OV languages like Japanese, Turkish and German can be derived from an underlying universal base order (cf. Kayne 1994) and considers how the roll-up movement operations needed to derive these languages interact with instances of A-movement. I also use contrasting data from two VO languages -- Icelandic and Finnish -- in order to examine similarities and differences in subject distribution and EPP-satisfaction in both OV and VO languages.

Most recently, syntactic features have become a topic of interest. Despite their central role as a primitive in current theory, the precise nature and internal structure of features remains unclear, as does the relationship between different features, and their role in driving the derivation and constraining structure building. I am currently exploring how we might gain a better understanding of the features that drive computations through looking at various cross-linguistic A-, A'- and head-movement phenomena.

Finally, I am currently preparing two squibs focusing on English linguistics: one on co-ordination of personal pronouns, and the other on case assignment to pronouns under quantification.

Selected publications

Refereed presentations

Other presentations

  • What is linguistics? 2013 - 2014
    Talk delivered multiple times at various outreach seminars for school pupils. University of Cambridge.
  • Theoretical syntax - a (very) short introduction. 2012
    Research lunch, King's College London.
  • Snowballing and A-movement. 2010
    Syntax Research Cluster workshop, University of Cambridge.
  • Movement-triggering features, A-movement and Snowballing. 2010
    SyntaxLab, University of Cambridge.
  • Drift, Markedness and the Final-Over-Final Constraint. 2010
    PhD seminar, University of Cambridge.
  • Cross-linguistic subjectivity. The "subject position" reconsidered. 2009
    PhD seminar, University of Cambridge.
  • Losing it: The fall of the Transitive Expletive Construction from English. 2008
    MPhil "mini conference", University of Cambridge.
  • Heading up the garden path… Temporary ambiguity in syntactic processing. 2008
    Psycholinguistics Reading Group, University of Cambridge.
  • What do we know when we "know a language"? 2008
    Selwyn College MCR "Work in Progress" seminar series, University of Cambridge.