Syntactic Theory

My primary research interests lie within the domain of syntactic theory. I seek to answer questions of how and why language looks the way it does, specifically exploring the phenomena of null or deficient elements in the syntax, as well as agreement phenomena. My primary modes of investigation for these phenomena are language corpora, Internet data, and the elicitation of grammaticality judgments and linguistic data. I am particularly interested in data on colloquial or nonstandard varieties of language, as these offer crucial information on the human language faculty and are often overlooked (unintentionally or otherwise) in syntactic research. A few specific syntactic phenomena that I am interested in are:

Syntactic Variation

I am interested in the ways syntactic phenomena vary across dialects and language, and how these variations can be accounted for in the Minimalist program. I am mostly interested in colloquial forms of language, minoritized dialects, and phenomena specific to computer-mediated communication (CMC). Some languages I have worked on include English, Spanish, Dutch, Setswana, and Tshila.


Superlinguistics is concerned with the study of objects that are not usually considered part of language using formal linguistic methodology. Within this domain I am interested in the incorporation of iconic visual elements into symbolic linguistic systems: namely emojis. I research the integration of emojis into linguistic utterance in CMC, not just as the orthographic counterparts of gestures and facial expressions, but as morphosyntactic constituents (pro-text emojis). I also study the ways in which the iconicity of visual pro-language forms factors into their interpretation.

Queer Language

I am interested in the languague used by LGBTQ+ individuals and their communities, and how these varieties differ from the language of the dominant culture. I research language use specific to the LGBTQ+ community online, as well as the syntax of gender in queer language.