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School of Language, Social and Political Sciences
+64 3 3694370
19 Creyke Rd Rm 127
One of my core interests is the study of languages indigenous to the Pacific Islands and I am passionate about encouraging and supporting speakers of these languages to engage in linguistic research. I have supervised MA research on pronouns and agreement markers in two Vanuatu languages carried out by a student from Vanuatu, and two of my MA students have carried out fieldwork on languages spoken in the Solomon Islands and on Borneo. In the field methods honours course I coordinated from 2009-2017, we worked with Pacific language consultants on Samoan, Kiribati, Fijian, Niuean, Tongan, and Solomon Islands Pijin, Bislama, as well as the languages Motu and Jiwaka, which are spoken in Papua New Guinea. I am currently engaged in joint research on the Niuean aspect system with a speaker of Niuean and am a collaborator on a research project on Tense and Aspect in the Pacific, led by scholars at the University of British Columbia.Grammatical variation and change has been a central focus of my past research, with projects on variation in English pronoun case, variation and change in the syntactic and semantic properties of have(got) constructions in NZ English, and changes in the distribution of modals and marginal modals. I am particularly interested in the language-internal conditioning of (morpho)syntactic variation and change, and in the implications of empirical findings for formal syntactic theory. I am also working on the creation of a searchable corpus of spoken German that incorporates recordings from different varieties spoken in Austria and Germany. Data from this corpus will provide valuable insights into the nature of morphological and syntactic differences between closely related varieties of a single language.