Who I am.

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’’.

Previously, I was a JSPS postdoctoral fellow in the Institute of Cultural and Linguistic Studies at Keio University in Tokyo, during which I was also a visiting scholar at Institut Jean-Nicod in Paris. 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.


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