About

As a theoretical linguist, I’m in the business of Platonistically uncovering the intricacies of the grammatical mechanisms, and general architecture, which are common to all languages. My research focuses on how humans build linguistic structure and how they interpret and communicate with such structures. I seek to answer these questions by translating natural language into formal language in the hope that these translations alone yield some explanation.

Photo by Leonardo Farina (c) 2012

Photo by Leonardo Farina (c) 2012

I received my doctorate from the University of Cambridge and have recently worked a post-doctoral researcher at Graz University and as lecturer in semantics at the University of Saarland, Germany. I’m currently appointed Special Scientist at the University of Cyprus working on the theoretical issues of adjectives.  My previous doctoral and current post-doctoral work is in the area of generative linguistic theory, as galvanised by Noam Chomsky over fifty years ago. More specifically, my research is located at the intersection of theoretical syntax and semantics and historical, mostly Indo-European, linguistics. The backbone of my doctoral work was a question concerning the natural incarnation of logical connectives and their syntactic/semantic micro-composition in light of the recent work on the linguistic systems of drawing scalar inferences. Synchronically, I am interested in why languages consistently express quantification and coordination (and some other meanings) using morphosyntactically uniform strategies. Diachronically, I’m trying to find out how (Proto) Indo-European developed and lost these strategies. I also looked at Old Japanese, as an AHRC fellow at the National Institute for Japanese Language and Linguistics (NINJAL) in Tokyo, working with John Whitman, to see whether there exist any general principles or natural patterns of syntactic/semantic change in construction and interpretation of quantificational expressions. I suppose, more generally, I am interested in what the atoms of logic in natural language look like.