What I do
I am a theoretical and computational linguist: I build
formal models of human grammar based on empirical data from natural
In my research, I develop a mathematical characterization of
syntactic dependencies such as case assignment. By linking
linguistic theory with results from formal language theory, I derive
properties of syntactic parsing, which can inform general cognition
as well as computer linguistics. I collect data by doing fieldwork:
I've worked with speakers of Turkic languages (Karakalpak, Kyrgyz,
Turkish) and also with speakers of Nepali and Yaadre.
I also build software for natural language processing for projects
in digital humanities. Then, I work with
statistical models to solve problems such as named entity
recognition (NER) and text classification.
I work as data analyst for the
Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritages
at the Austrian Academy of Sciences while I wrap up my Ph.D. studies in
linguistics at UConn.
Previously, I've spent a semester as visiting student at
Stony Brook University,
and studied linguistics and
in Vienna, Austria.
Download my full CV
or auf Deutsch (last updated: February 2022)
Email me for copies of non-linked attachments.
I'm always looking forward to receiving comments.
Please don't hesitate to reach out!
Accusative case in Turkish action nominals and some light-verb constructions
- Conference presentation at Turkologentag 2023, University of Vienna
Object shift in American Sign Language (ASL) and Brazilian Sign Language (Libras)
ASL and Libras have an object-shift construction by which the canonical SVO order
is changed to SOV. In both sign languages, this ordering is mandatory for V
marked with durative/continuative aspect (reduplicated movement), optional for
V that agrees with O in locus, and not allowed with plain V. When V agrees with
O in handshape, ASL requires OV ordering whereas Libras allows both OV and
VO ordering. We present an analysis that derives these data with a combination of
syntactic movement of O and violable, equally-ranked PF-constraints as proposed
by Bobaljik & Wurmbrand (2012). Unlike Matsuoka's (1997) and Braze's (2004) pro-
posals, we do not move V to a head on the right in violation of the Final-over-final
constraint (Biberauer et al. 2014; Sheehan et al. 2017).
Germanic doubly-filled COMP
We derive doubly-filled COMP constructions in Bavarian and other Germanic varieties
for embedded questions, successive-cyclic wh-movement, headed relative clauses, and head-less relative clauses
by analyzing wh-words as basically feature-less (no Person, Gender, Number, Case, Animacy; only Wh/Rel).
Together with Roberts's (2010) analysis of head-movement, this predicts correctly when wh-words and relativizers
apper in Spec,CP and when in C.
ÖLT 45 at Universität Salzburg — Dec. 6–7, 2019.
Short manuscript in honor of Hamida Demirdache's 60th birthday; Feb. 12, 2021.
Olinco 5 at Palacký University Olomouc; June 10–12, 2021.
- Proceedings paper: in print
CGG 30 at Oviedo — June 30–July 2, 2021.
An implicational universal linking c-command and movement
Based on insights from mathematical linguistics, we argue that syntactic dependencies spanning independent subtrees, that is: not expressible via c-command relations, must be established by movement.
- PLC 43 at UPenn (talk) — March 22–24, 2019.
A formal account of Dependent Case Theory
I formalize DCT into Minimalist Grammars (Stabler 1997) with MSO-constraints on derivation trees (Graf 2013),
and I argue that a formalization based on licensing by covert movement is not possible as it increases the complexity class of natural language.
I provide a formalism that allows to circumvent this problem (to suspend the SMC) without incurring this blow-up in complexity.
- Manuscript, May 2018.
- Formal Grammar 23 in Sofia, Bulgaria (talk) — August 11–12, 2018.
Turkic nominalized clauses
I investigate the possibility of raising-to-possessor in Kyrgyz participial relative clauses with genitive-marked subjects.
(The WAFL paper argues against it, but in light of new data, the TU+ paper argues in favor of it.)
- ConCALL-3 at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (talk) — March 2–4, 2018.
- WAFL 14 at MIT, Cambridge, MA (talk) — October 19–21, 2018.
- TU+ 4 at NYU, New York, NY (talk) — February 16–17, 2019.
I analyze clause-type triggered differential subject marking in Turkish by arguing that factive nominalized argument clauses are complex NPs with a silent head noun.
- TU+2 at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (poster, cancelled) — Nov 19–20, 2016.
- ConSOLE 25 in Leipzig, Germany (talk) — Jan 4–6, 2017.
German impersonal passives
German has passives that retain accusative case and must receive a generic interpretation.
I argue that they are impersonal actives.
The real(is) distinction in before- and after-clauses.
We compare before- and after-clauses in German, French, Japanese, Polish, Korean, and Turkish.
We provide a uniform analysis for the different morphological strategies these languages use to mark before clauses.
We argue that the intra-language differences between before and after are due to different selectional properties for mood,
which stems from realis vs. irrealis presuppositions.
- GLOW 39 in Göttingen, Germany (poster) — Apr 5–7, 2016.
- FASL 25 at Cornell University, NY (talk) — May 13–15, 2016.
Turkish polar question particle
Based on evidence from conditionals I argue that the question particle "mI" triggers movement of the focused constituent.
- TU+1 at UMass Amherst (talk) — Nov 21–22, 2015.
- Proceedings paper: draft
- Proceedings paper available from Amazon
The German relative pronoun "welch-" is an agreeing complementizer.
- CGG 24 in Madrid, Spain (talk) — May 28–29, 2014.
- RALFe at Paris 8, France (talk) — Oct 9–10, 2014.
Turkish accusative as topic marker.
- ÖSKL 6 in Vienna, Austria (talk) — Nov 30–Dec 1, 2013.