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 interpretation of polarity items (PIs). These PIs come in two types, negative and positive, and range from words like ever, still and any to phrases like a red cent or at all. Some of my primary questions related to scope and polarity items are:
Do the various types of PI owe their differences to scope related factors?
What can license an PI and do these licensors share any properties?
How are PIs processed and interpreted?
Do other linguistic structures have processing profiles similar to those of negation and NPIs?
What can mismatches between performance and competence tell us about grammar and parsing?
Outside of polarity phenomenon and human parsing, other areas of interest include first language acquisition and English negative concord dialects.