I am a Reader in Linguistics in Surrey Morphology Group (SMG), a research centre based in the School of Literature & Languages. Before joining Surrey in September 2012, I was a Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Salford and Researcher in Language Documentation and Description in the Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project (HRELP), in the Department of Linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London.
Areas of specialism
University roles and responsibilities
- Linguistics Pathway Lead for the ESRC South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership
- PhD Coordinator for Surrey Morphology Group
My research covers a wide range of topics related to understanding linguistic diversity and the preservation and description of languages.
My major research interests lie in:
- Morphology (especially Paradigm Function Morphology)
- Syntax (especially Lexical Functional Grammar)
- Information structure
- Language documentation and description
- Niger-Congo languages (especially Eleme and other Benue-Congo languages)
- Nilo-Saharan (especially Nuer and other Nilotic languages)
- Tibeto-Burman languages (especially the languages of Manang District, Nepal)
- Indo-Aryan languages (especially Maithili)
Although I work with data from a variety of languages, my background is in Africanist linguistics. Much of my early work describes typologically unusual aspects of the morphosyntax of Eleme (Ogonoid, Benue-Congo), an under-described Niger-Congo language spoken in southeast Nigeria.
Since 2012, my main fieldwork focus has moved to Nepal, where I have been working on four Tibeto-Burman languages - Manang Gurung, Manange, Nar-Phu and Gyalsumdo - which are spoken in the villages of Manang District. This fieldwork is conducted in collaboration with Kristine Hildebrandt (SIUE), Dubi Nanda Dhakal (Tribhuvan University) and other members of the Manang Languages Project.
In the UK, I have also been working with speakers of Nuer (Western Nilotic, Nilo-Saharan) and Maithili (Bihari, Indo-Aryan).
Postgraduate research supervision
I am happy to supervise students working on topics in morphology, syntax, information structure, especially typological approaches to any of these topics. I am also open to supervising students who wish to work on the documentation of underdescribed languages, especially from Africa and Trans-Himalayan region.
I am currently lead supervisor for one student based in Surrey Morphology Group:
- Dávid Győrfi, who is researching auxiliary verb and multi verb constructions in the Kypchak languages of Central Asia.
My former PhD students are:
- Dr Borja Herce, who conducted the first typological study into morphomes.
- Dr Tatiana Reid, who research the complex phonological and morphological properties of verbs in Nuer, a West Nilotic languages form South Sudan and Ethiopia.