Me in Oxford

I am a theoretical linguist: I come up with theories about how human language works and then I test 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 Departmental Lecturer in Syntax at the University of Oxford. My teaching includes 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). 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, and the novels of Iain M. Banks.