I am a fifth year graduate student in UCLA's department of linguistics. My focus is on syntax, semantics, and morphology, and their interfaces. I use fieldwork on understudied languages and experimental methods to inform our theoretical model.
I am the founder of MoRG, UCLA's Morphology Reading Group, and a member of Jesse Harris' Language Processing Lab.
Fieldwork and language documentation
With Margit Bowler, I am documenting Logoori (also Maragoli, Llogoori, Logooli, Logoori, Lulogoori) a Bantu language, part of the Luhya family spoken in Kenya and Tanzania. I recently completed a fieldtrip to Kenya in order to collect data on modality and evidentiality. Some of the results will be presented at LSA 2017 (along with Margit Bowler, Michael Diercks, and Maurice Sifuna).
Evidentiality/Modality: We are working on expletive constructions (see also my work on the Take-TIME Construction). Here's a draft of SALT paper (to appear) which analyses the two different expletive agreements as instances of choice-function operators (ala Rullmann, Matthewson, and Davis).
Modal typology: Building on our SALT paper, we've also put together a partial typology of modality in the Luhya languages. With Mike Diercks (Pomona College) and Maurice Sifuna (Kenyatta University), this work will be presented at LSA 2017 in Austin, TX (handout and poster). The goal of the work is to document both inter-language and inter-speaker variation within Luhya. One of the surprising findings so far is that amount of variation found with respect to the modal and expletive systems across Luhya---and even across speakers of the same language. It's our goal to eventually model this variation in a formal semantic typology (e.g., Nauze, 2008).
Ideophones: Margit and are documenting and analyzing the use of ideophones in Logoori. Cross-linguistically, ideophones are typically ideosyncratic particles that express (or "depict") an event, like splat! in English. The ideophones in Logoori differ from better documented systems in being i) non-depictive, ii) a closed class, iii) syntactically restricted. Part of the project is simply to add to a general understanding of what "counts" as an ideophone, and to develop better diagnostics for classifying ideophone systems.
Quantification: We are broadly interested in documenting the properties of quantifiers in Maragoli, and how they relate relate to other "non-canonical" quantificational systems. Here's a talk we recently presented at WOCAL 8 in Kyoto, Japan.
Lexical Semantics: We are undertaking an examination of the Lexical Semantics of Maragoli's verbs. Lexical Semantic analyses are rarely carried out outside of mainstream languages, and we see a great deal of typological and theoretical import to this work. Here's a talk we presented at ACAL 46 in Eugene, OR on the anticausative marker in Logoori, and our subsequent paper (forthcoming).
I'm currently conducting fieldwork on K'iche' (also Quiche, Kiche, Kichee) a Mayan language spoken in Guatemala. My investigations have focused broadly on valency alternations, with a more focused interest in Lexical Semantics and its relevance to the appearance of the causative morpheme, which I treat as an applicative. Here's a paper describing some of the findings.
Intervention and Tough-Movement
I am generally interested in the interaction between intensionality and movement in the domain of syntax. In particular I am investigating the idea that certain intervention effects can be modeled as a constraint on sytnactic chains imposed by intensionality. The details are worked out in my dissertation (in prep), but a general idea behind the analysis was presented at GLOW 39's workshop on perspectivization.
Beyond discussion of intervention, I also address the distribution of for-CPs. I treat these as predicates of events, and show how they interact with other eventive elements, e.g., tough-predicates and event nominals. The upshot is a generalized theory of clausal complementation along the lines of Moulton (2009).
Johnglu AT u c l a DOT e d u
Department of Linguistics,
3125 Campbell Hall, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1543