I am a theoretical linguist as well as a fieldworker. I am currently a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Manchester and an associated researcher at the Tübingen Collaborative Research Center 833. I was trained at the Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen in Germany (from which I also received my Ph.D. in 2015), the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in the United States, and the University of British Columbia, Vancouver in Canada.

Broadly speaking, I investigate how meaning emerges from the interaction of syntactic structure, lexical information, composition principles and context. I am particularly interested in how far this interaction is subject to crosslinguistic variation, and in the repercussions of this variation for first language acquisition and processing.

Topics I haved worked on or am working on include the crosslinguistic representation of scalarity in the grammar, the acquisition of comparison constructions, the architecture of tense and modality at Logical Form, as well as the grammar of alternatives.

What’s new?

– Siena Weingartz and I will be in Berlin in April for a workshop on “Modality in Underdescribed Languages: Methods and Insights”, presenting on “Variable Modal Strength in Afrikaans and Samoan: Deriving Strong from Weak Necessity”. Here is the abstract.

– Check out Nadine Bade‘s and my poster for the 2022 Amsterdam Colloquium on the depth-charge illusion here! Read the proceedings paper here. Comments and questions welcome!

– Out now: “Cross-linguistic Formal Pragmatics”, co-authored with the wonderful Margit Bowler. Published in Key Concepts in Experimental Pragmatics, a key output of XPrag Dojo project, edited by Yoichi Miyamoto, Masatoshi Koizumi, Hajime Ono, Kazuko Yatsushiro & Uli Sauerland.

– It’s TripleAFLA time! The University of Manchester will be hosting the virtual TripleAFLA conference this summer, combining the 9th TripleA Workshop for Semantic Fieldworkers and the 29th Annual Meeting of the Austronesian Formal Linguistics Association.

– Join me at the St Catherine’s College, Oxford on the 11th June 2022 for a public lecture on “The Study of Meaning in Natural Language, in the Lab and in the Field”, organised by the Philological Society.

– Giuliano Armente, Britta Stolterfohlt and I will be giving a short talk on “Transparency in the Processing of Temporal Ambiguity: The Case of Embedded Tense” at the second Experiments in Linguistic Meaning (ELM) workshop in May 2022.

– Join virtually for a talk that Shatha Alahmadi and I will be giving this March “On the Different Readings of the Focus Particle KAMAN in Hijazi Arabic” at the 35th Annual Symposion on Arabic Linguistics at Georgetown in March 2022.

– I will be spending part of my 2021-22 2nd semester research leave as a Fellow at the Leibniz-Centre General Linguistics (ZAS) in Berlin. Read their post here!

– Now out in Linguistic Variation: Anna Howell, Vera Hohaus, Polina Berezovskaya, Konstantin Sachs, Julia Braun, Şheriban Durmaz & Sigrid Beck (2022), “(No) Variation in the Grammar of Alternatives”.

– I received two outstanding staff awards by the Faculty of Humanities for the 2020-21 academic year, the Oustanding Teaching Award and the Outstanding UG Dissertation Supervisor Award. Read the Manchet blog post here!