1989, B.A. in German, French and English, Tübingen University, Germany
1992, M.A. in Linguistics, University of Calgary
2003, Ph.D. in Linguistics, University of Calgary
2004–2005: Killam post-doctoral fellow, University of Alberta
2006–2007: SSHRC post-doctoral fellow, University of Victoria
2008–present: Adjunct professor, University of Victoria
My primary research interest is semantic and syntactic typology. I am a theoretical linguist with a passion for underdocumented/endangered languages, linguistic fieldwork, and documentation. My approach to typological research has been the in-depth study and comparison of a small number of languages, involving the collection/ documentation of new data. In my M.A. thesis, I examined noun incorporation in two Canadian Athapaskan languages, Dëne Sųłiné (Chipewyan) and Slave. During my dissertation, I focused on Dëne Sųłiné and German, and currently, Dëne Sųłiné is my primary research language.
I have worked from a descriptive and a formal perspective on noun incorporation, lexicalization vs. grammaticalization, aspect and Aktionsarten, number, countability, and the syntax and semantics of noun phrases. In my current SSHRC-funded research, I am collaborating with two Dëne Sųłiné communities in the recording and transcription of texts. Texts from the resulting annotated corpus will be published and used for education, enjoyment, and research. I am using the corpus to better understand the syntax and semantics of determinerless nouns. I am also interested in understanding the factors involved in the maintenance of endangered and minority/immigrant languages, and in applying linguists' knowledge to language teaching and language policy.
Selected Contributions (PDF):
(2010) With Leslie Saxon. The 'possessed noun suffix' and "possession" in two Northern Athabaskan languages. Invited talk given at the Workshop on Nominal Dependents, Banff, May 8, 2010.
(2009) Evidence for nP, but not for NumP. Paper presented at the Workshop on Bare Ns: Syntactic Projections and their Interpretation, Paris: LLF - UMR 7110 CNRS, Université Paris Diderot, November 26-27, 2009.
(2008) Bare nouns and number in Dëne Sųłiné. Natural Language Semantics 16:39–68.
(2007) With Leslie Saxon. The syntax of numerals in two Dene languages. Presentation given at WSCLA 12 (The 12th Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas). University of Lethbridge, March 31, 2007
(2007) Telicity and durativity: a study of aspect in Dëne Sųłiné (Chipewyan) and German. “Outstanding Dissertations in Linguistics” Series. New York: Routledge (formerly Garland). Download abstract here.
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(2006) Count and mass nouns in Dëne Sųłiné. Proceedings of WCCFL 25 (The 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
(2006) Count, mass, and part structure in Dëne Sųłiné nouns. Proceedings of WSCLA 11 (The 11th Workshop on Structure and Constituency in Languages of the Americas). Vancouver: University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics.
(2003) Quasi-Telic Perfective Aspect in Dëne Sųłiné (Chipewyan). Proceedings of SALT (Semantics and Linguistic Theory) 13, 310–327. Ithaca, NY: CLC Publications.