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
us about the theory of Universal Grammar?;
(ii) How does the synchronic variation among genetically closely
related languages shed light on the pattern of language change?;
(iii) How does Austronesian comparative linguistics contribute to our
understanding of the peopling of Southeast Asia and the Pacific?
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 here, here and here.