top of page


I am a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. My primary research interest lies in syntax and historical linguistics, in particular:

  (i)    How does the syntactic typology of Austronesian languages

           inform the variation vs. uniformity in language design?;

  (ii)   How does the synchronic variation among genetically related

           languages inform patterns of language change?;​

  (iii)  How does Austronesian comparative linguistics contribute to

           our understanding of the peopling of Southeast Asia and the


To answer these questions, my research focuses on the morphosyntactic typology of Austronesian languages, in particular languages with the so-called "Austronesian-type alignment". Starting from 2024, a joint project with Mary Walworth and Miriam Meyerhoff will tackle (ii)-(iii) via a systematic comparison of western Austronesian with east Polynesian languages under a Marsden standard grant.


A secondary focus of my research is linguistic subgrouping. Since 2020, my team and I have been using multidisciplinary data to re-examine the patterns of the Austronesian diaspora under a Marsden Fast Start Grant. Some outputs of our project can be found herehere and here.

I am currently the Editor-in-Chief of Te Reo—the Journal of the New Zealand Linguistic Society. Info about the journal can be found here



  • Talk at ISMIL 27 (June 5-6): Pivot lowering yielding split ergativity:  Insights from Nusantara voices. With Hero Patrianto.

  • Proceedings of AFLA 30: The Javanese free exceptive and its implications for ellipsis constraints in Austronesian [link]. With Luané Lennox and Eric Potsdam. 

  • Talks at ICAL 16 (June 20-24 2024):

    • PanelGeographical typology as a window into the evolution of the Austronesian family [link], with Bradley McDonnell, Daniel Kaufman, Shelece Easterday, Christina Truong, Isaac Stead,  Blaine Billings, and Clemens Mayer

    • PanelNew approaches to contact issues in the subgrouping of Austronesian linguistic relations [link], with Alexander Smith, Emily Gasser, Owen Edwards, Kristina Gallego, Jonathan Kuo, Isaac Stead, and Benjamin van der Voorn

    • PaperColonization-induced change in color lexicon: Insights from Māori, with Neil Dodgson and Meimuna Zahido

    • PaperWhat drives an Ā-extraction constraint’? Tagalog kung relativization reexamined, with Nozomi Tanaka

    • Poster: Crossed control revisited: Insights from Javanese, with Hero Patrianto

bottom of page