I am an Assistant Professor (Universitair Docent) at Leiden University in the Centre for Linguistics and the Institute for Area Studies. I also serve as the leader of the NWO international collaboration project '’Searching for semantic universals in the modal domain’’.

As of August 1st, 2019, I will be Lecturer in Semantics in the Department of Linguistics and English Language of the University of Edinburgh.

I completed my PhD at MIT Linguistics in 2015.

I also have the following external appointments in academic journals and conferences:

My profiles can also be found on the following sites:

What I do.

I am a researcher of formal semantics and pragmatics. That is, I study how humans draw various inferences from conversations in natural language, and I try to understand systems governing such human behaviors using theoretical tools made available by linguistics, logic and cognitive science.

Specifically, I am interested in the relationship between word meanings and grammatical rules. My PhD dissertation Interpreting questions under attitudes addresses a family of puzzles concerning how the meanings of the so-called propositional attitude verbs (such as believe, know, surprise and wonder) are related to the types of complement clauses they can combine with (for example, whether the verb can combine with a question or not).

More recently, I am interested in the distinction between ‘logical’ words (such as every and or) and ‘non-logical’ words (such as walk and bird). Is there a fundamental distinction between how these two kinds of word meanings are represented in our mind? I try to address this question by investigating the manifestation of this distinction in syntax-semantics interface (i.e., the relationship between meaning and grammar) and cross-linguistic universals in word meanings (i.e., what kind of common properties hold for word meanings across languages).

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

Recent and upcoming talks, papers etc.

  • December 18-20, 2019: Together with Floris Roelofsen and Jakub Szymanik, I will be organizing a workshop on semantic universals as part of the Amsterdam Colloquium 2019.
  • June 26-27, 2019: Invited talk at InqBnB3.
  • May 17-19, 2019: Talk ‘Issue-sensitive discourse particles and intonational compliance: the case of Japanese ne and yo’, at SALT29, UCLA.
  • February 2019: The paper ‘The *hope-wh puzzle’ (joint work with Yasutada Sudo) accepted for publication in Natural Language Semantics.
  • January 2019: Article ‘The semantics of question-embedding predicates’ published in Language and Linguistics Compass (Open access)

Specific research interests

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