Who I am.

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(Ⓒ Juriën van Eck)

I am an Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent) at Leiden University in Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and Leiden University Institute for Area Studies.

Previously, I was a JSPS postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies at Keio University, during which I was also a visiting scholar at Institut Jean-Nicod in Paris.

In 2015, I completed my PhD study at MIT Linguistics, with the PhD dissertation titled Interpreting questions under attitudes (pdf on lingbuzzpdf on the local server). The dissertation addresses a family of puzzles for the compositional semantics of question-embedding sentences, posed by variability in forms and interpretations of clauses embedded under attitude predicates such as know, predict, surprise and wonder.

 

What I do.

I do research on formal semantics and pragmatics. That is, I study the systematic patterns in which people draw various kinds of inferences from conversations in natural language, and try to understand systems governing such patterns by formalizing them using theoretical tools made available by linguistics, logic and cognitive science. See Kyle Rawlins’ introduction of semantics for non-specialists for more on what semanticists like Kyle and I do.

I also specialise in Japanese linguistics. I investigate various aspects of the grammatical structure of the languages/dialects in Japan, with an aim to uncover the nature of the similarity and differences that the Japanese languages have with other languages in the world. Click here to read a short biography about the relationship between me and the Japanese language.

Outside of research, teaching is an essential part of my academic life. See the Teaching page for my teaching philosophy and information on classes I have taught.

 

Specific research interests

  • Semantics and Pragmatics
    • Semantics and pragmatics of interrogatives and their responses
    • Semantics of attitude predicates and their selectional properties
    • Constraints on lexical denotations
  • Syntax-Semantics Interface
    • wh-indeterminates
    • Disjunctive constructions
  • Morpho-phonology of Japanese dialects

 

News and upcoming events

  • September 10-11, 2016: Attend the exhaustivity workshop at MIT to talk about the exhaustivity component in the meaning of “wonder” (joint work with Floris Roelofsen).
  • September 12, 2016: Classes start at Leiden.
  • September 23, 2016: Talk “Comparing non-reductive theories of question-embedding” at the DIP colloquium of ILLC, Universiteit van Amsterdam:
  • October 14-16, 2016: Talk “Predicates of relevance and theories of question embedding” at NELS to be held at UMass, Amherst (joint work with Patrick D Elliot, Yasutada Sudo and Nathan Klinedinst).