The linguistic questions that have always intrigued me the most are seemingly basic questions (What is a subject? What is a noun? What is a word?) that turn out to be complex, hard to define, or otherwise fiddly.
- Weather expressions
How and when is case assigned to nouns? How does this differ when "quirky" case is involved? What is the best way to account for (split) ergativity?
How and when does a verb agree with its subject (and other arguments)? What is the relationship between case and agreement? Why do languages seem to allow so much sociolinguistic variation in their agreement paradigms?
Are there multiple subject positions, and what properties are associated with each one? What properties are held by expletive subjects and existential subjects?
What cross-linguistic generalizations can we make about which verbs can be causativized, and how they are causativized? At what level of representation does causativization occur?
How do different languages linguistically encode weather events (e.g. it's raining)? Cross-linguistically, which semantic roles are held by the participants in weather events?
I gather data for my work primarily by linguistic consultation with native speakers of the language of interest. I also collect data by running online judgement studies and conducting sociolinguistic interviews.
- Russian, and other Slavic languages My research on conjunction, agreement, and noun phrase structure focuses on Russian.
- English dialects
- And more!
Along with the Voices of California Project, I've conducted fieldwork documenting English as it's spoken in California. My work on agreement variation in English comes from this corpus.
I've also worked on Kazakh (Turkic), Marathi (Indo-Aryan), Chácobo (Pano).