Here's a sample of some ongoing and past projects!
- Laws of semantic change: (in collaboration with Yang Xu and Haim Dubossarsky) I study
patterns and predictors of (lexical) semantic change using cross-linguistic historical dictionaries.
- Framing in scientific debates: I study how verbs are used in scientific debates (such as
the reality of anthropogenic climate change or the effectiveness of vaccines) to reinforce epistemic biases and beliefs.
- Grammaticalization and bleaching: With Joshua Katz, I studied how "have to" evolved to express
necessity ("I have work to do") in addition to possession ("I have a book to read for the trip home"). With Dan Jurafsky and
I studied how adverbs like "insanely" and "terribly" evolved to express intensification ("This recipe is insanely delicious!").
- Mandarin resultative verb compounds (RVCs): With Edwin Williams, I studied the syntactic derivation of
RVCs. I also study the semantics of these compounds with Beth Levin.
- Instrument subjects in Mandarin Chinese: With Christiane Fellbaum, I studied
under what conditions the instrument (thematic) role
can be expressed as the syntactic subject of a sentence.
- Orthographic evolution: I have studied the evolving
orthographic systems of Swiss German and Mandarin Chinese under the influence of