I am an Associate Professor and the Undergraduate Program Director in the Department of Linguistics, with a co-appointment in the Center for Cognitive Science (RuCCS), at Rutgers University.
I completed my Ph.D. in Linguistics at Northwestern University in 2007, with a specialization in Cognitive Science. I joined the Rutgers Linguistics faculty in 2011. Before that, I had a Cognitive Science Fellowship at RuCCS and an NIH NRSA post-doctoral in Psychology.
My areas of expertise are in language acquisition and psycholinguistics, with a focus on how we acquire, represent, and process linguistic meaning, and how (and whether) the ability to do so changes over the course of development. In my experimental research, I gather empirical data that informs us about how children acquire the meaning of words, how children and adults interpret sentences that involve abstract syntax-semantic operations, and how the grammar interacts with other factors such as the discourse context and processing. Formal linguistic theory is always the starting point for these questions, and a variety of traditional and innovative methodologies collecting behavioral data aim to provide the answers.
My main topics of investigation in semantics, pragmatics, syntax-semantics, and cognition include word learning (primarily of adjectives and verbs), gradability and vagueness in adjectives and nominals, comparative constructions, numerals, expressions of quantification and measurement, verb phrase ellipsis, and the contribution of prosody to meaning.
Early Career Award, Linguistic Society of America. 2018
Best Paper Written by an Untenured Scientist awarded by Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics for “Collectivity, distributivity, and the interpretation of plural numerical expressions in child and adult language,” published in Issue 20.4. 2013
Linguistic Service Award, Linguistic Society of America. 2007
Rutgers University Presidential Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. 2017
NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Post-Doctoral Fellowship. 2008-2011
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University. 2007-2008
Presidential Fellowship, The Graduate School, Northwestern University. 2005-2007
Bernard and Julia Bloch Memorial Fellowship, Linguistic Society of America. 2003-2005
I have two children and two beagles. I’ve been practicing yoga for over 15 years. I love ashtanga, Jivamukti, and a good hot power vinyasa flow class. I also enjoy high-intensity workouts, bike riding, and spinning. I’m a pescatarian. I love baking. If I were at Hogwarts, I would be sorted into Ravenclaw.