Me in Oxford

I am a theoretical linguist: I aim to understand how human language works by coming up with theories about it and then testing them. In particular, I am interested in the structure of sentences (syntax), how the meanings of sentences are computed (semantics), and the ways in which these two interact.

Professionally, I am a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Semantics at the University of Oslo, working on the Universal Natural Language Understanding project. Prior to this, I was a Departmental Lecturer in Syntax at the University of Oxford, where my teaching included general linguistics, syntax, and sociolinguistics.

Research-wise, I am interested in well-formalised theories of grammar and meaning, especially constraint-based, non-derivational theories (such as Lexical Functional Grammar and Glue Semantics). My recent work has mostly focussed on the syntax and semantics of idioms and other multiword expressions, investigating how they should be represented in the mental lexicon. I also study the principles behind how the semantic arguments of a predicate are realised syntactically, otherwise known as Mapping Theory.

Beyond syntax and semantics, I am also interested in sociolinguistics, and especially in the intersection of language, gender, and sexuality.

Outside of linguistics, my interests include many techy things (I'm currently playing around with Emacs again ...), strategy games (of both the board and PC variety), and thinking about how research and technology can be used for socially just ends (especially including the importance of open source software and open access scholarship for those ends).