Teaching

I teach generative syntax at all levels, courses on typology and the formal modelling of variation, courses on the linguistics of particular languages (such as Chinese and English), and graduate seminars on theoretical topics of current interest.

Courses Taught

2017-2018 (University of Pennsylvania)

Argument Structure (Ling406, Spring)

This course explores the notion of argument in syntax and semantics. The theory of argument structure concerns how arguments are introduced syntactically, interpreted semantically, and marked morphologically. The study of argument structure plays a central role in linguistic theory in determining the division of labor between syntax, semantics, and the lexicon. The first part of this course introduces students to the structural analysis of argument structure, and to various theoretical issues of interest in its study, including thematic interpretation, event structure and event decomposition, and lexical aspect. During the remainder of the semester, the syntax, semantics, and morphology of argument structure phenomena are explored in a wide range of languages.

Bilingualism in History (Freshman seminar) (Ling054, Spring)

Throughout the course of human history, and still around much of the world today, it has been the norm to find more than one language in regular use in a single community. How do individual speakers handle multiple languages? How does language contact influence languages? This course takes an historical approach to tracing and reconstructing the nature of language contacts and bilingualism in order to understand what happens to languages spoken by bilinguals.

Topics in building and interpreting event structure (Graduate seminar) (Ling653, Fall) [Syllabus here]

The decomposition of predicate meaning into relations between distinct events is known as ‘event structure’. Investigation of event structure plays a particularly important role in the study of the division of labor between syntax, semantics, and the lexicon. How is event structure built? How does its construction map to its interpretation? This course explores topics of interest to syntactic approaches to building event structures, and the interaction of syntactic composition with semantics and morphology.

Construct A Language (Ling242, Fall) [Syllabus here]

In this course, students construct their own language, one that is compatible with what is known about possible human languages. To this end, the course investigates language typology through lectures and examination of grammars of unfamiliar languages. Topics include language universals, points of choice in a fixed decision space, and dependencies among choices.


2016-2017 (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Topics in the Syntax-Semantics Interface: Causation (Graduate) (Ling653, Spring)
  • Construct A Language (Ling242, Spring)
  • Bilingualism in History (Freshman seminar) (Ling054, Fall)
  • Language in Context: East meets west (Freshman seminar) (Ling056, Fall)

2015-2016 (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Topics in Natural Language Syntax: Syntactic variation (Graduate) (Ling650, Spring)
  • Patterns in Language (Ling245, Spring)
  • Bilingualism in History (Freshman seminar) (Ling054, Fall)
  • Language in China (Ling145, Fall)

2014-2015 (University of Oxford, Tutor/small group teaching)

  • General Linguistics (Intro to linguistics) (Paper VIII)

2013-2014 (University of Cambridge, Supervisor/small group teaching)

  • Typology (Li17)
  • Structures and Meanings (Introduction to syntax and to semantics/pragmatics) (Li2)

2012-2013 (University of Cambridge, Supervisor/small group teaching)

  • Syntax (Advanced syntax) (Li9)