I’m a third year graduate student in the Northwestern University Department of Linguistics. I work on the the interplay of competence and performance in syntax and psycholinguistics, with a focus on the issues of parsing and scope. In order to understand how scope is handled in sentence processing, much of my work looks at the distribution and processing of polarity items (PIs). These PIs come in many types, but two popular categories are positive polarity items, and negative polarity items. These PIs range from words like ever, still and any to larger phrases like a red cent or at all. Some of my primary questions related to scope and polarity items are:
What can license an PI and do the other properties of these licencors impact the processing of PIs?
Do other linguistic structures have processing profiles similar to those of PIs?
Are PIs best analyzed as a homogeneous group in processing?
What can mismatches between behavior and grammatical status tell us about grammar and parsing?
Outside of scope, polarity phenomenon, and human parsing I also am interested in first language acquisition, English negative concord dialects, formal language parsing, and the semantics of scale.