Research team

Team Leaders

Jim Wood

Member since 2012

Jim Wood

Jim Wood is an assistant professor. His research interests are in syntactic theory, Icelandic morphosyntax, syntax-semantics interface, syntax-morphology interface, and dialect syntax. He has worked on the New England so don't I construction and verbal rather, among other topics he has pursued or is currently pursuing in English dialect syntax. He has also worked on syntactic variation in Icelandic, including variation in subject-verb agreement, figure reflexive constructions, and dative-nominative constructions.


Raffaella Zanuttini 

Member since 2010 (Founding Member)

Raffaella Zanuttini

Raffaella Zanuttini began working in micro-comparative syntax by studying minimal variations in the expression of sentential negation within the Romance language family, including many non-standard varieties spoken in Northern Italy (see Negation and Clausal Structure: A Comparative Study of Romance Languages, Oxford University Press). In this project, she extends the study of micro-syntactic differences to varieties of English spoken in North America. Along with Larry Horn, she co-edited the volume Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English, published in 2014 by Oxford University Press.


Laurence Horn

Member since 2011

Larry Horn

Larry Horn is a longtime member of the American Dialect Society, to whose e-mail list he is a frequent contributor. He has written on personal datives, positive anymore, lexicography, and the role of semantics and pragmatics in the grammar of negation and polarity. His publications include A Natural History of Negation (Chicago, 1989), The Handbook of Pragmatics (Blackwell, 2004), and The Expression of Negation (De Gruyter, 2010). Along with Raffaella Zanuttini, he co-edited the volume Micro-Syntactic Variation in North American English, published in 2014 by Oxford University Press


Current Members

Matthew Barros

Member since 2015

Matthew Barros

Matthew Barros is a syntax postdoc. His research interests are in syntax and its interfaces with semantics and pragmatics. He is interested in syntactic variation in ellipsis constructions and copular clauses.


Jason Zentz

Member since 2016

Jason Zentz

Jason Zentz received his PhD from Yale in May 2016, having studied the morphosyntax of wh-questions, clefts, relative clauses, and adverbial clauses in Bantu languages during grad school. He is now a postdoc working on the NSF grant "The Microsyntax of Pronouns in North American English."


Luke Lindemann

Member since 2013

Luke Lindemann

Luke Lindemann is a graduate student. He is from Austin, Texas and has worked on Texas German dialects for the University of Texas. He is currently looking at the semantics of split ergativity in Nepali. As a member of the YGDP, he is particularly engaged with the ongoing investigation into the Southern Presentative Dative ('Here's you a piece of pizza') constructions.


Sabina Matyiku

Member since 2010 (Founding Member)

Sabina Matyiku

Sabina Matyiku is a graduate student. She is currently working on negative inversion in varieties of North American English, particularly in West Texas English.


Matthew Tyler

Member since 2013

Matthew Tyler

Matt Tyler is a graduate student. His research is mainly in syntax, and he is interested in formal approaches to syntactic variation. This includes variation across dialects of US English, and variation within individual speakers. Constructions he has worked on recently are "have yet to", as in "John has yet to visit his grandmother", and "do got", as in "do you got any money?"


Aidan Kaplan

Member since 2014

Aidan Kaplan

Aidan Kaplan is an undergraduate majoring in linguistics. He is an active member of the Yale Undergraduate Linguistics Society, and he helps organize the NACLO contest site at Yale.


Richard (Tom) McCoy

Member since 2015

Tom McCoy

Tom McCoy is an undergraduate linguistics major. He has spent several summers developing computational tools for low-resource languages, and he is an organizer and problem writer for the North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad.


Past Members

Dennis Storoshenko

Member from 2012 to 2013

Dennis Storoshenko

Dennis Storoshenko formerly worked as a lecturer and postdoc at Yale. He is now an assistant professor of linguistics at the University of Calgary. His research is primarily on theoretical syntax and the syntax-semantics interface, with a focus on binding and anaphora. While at Yale, he worked on projects involving the non-canonical use of reflexive pronouns, and the use of variant reflexive forms such as hisself and theirselves in North America. He also worked on developing practices for using Twitter as a tool in remote fieldwork; as geotagging becomes more common, Twitter can become an easy tool for identifying dialect features in a specific area.


Phoebe Gaston

Member from 2011 to 2013

Phoebe Gaston

Phoebe Gaston graduated from Yale in 2013 with a B.A. in linguistics and now studies linguistics as a graduate student at the University of Maryland. Her interests lie in Syntax and Neurolinguistics.


Zhipeng (Nick) Huang

Member from 2010 to 2011 (Founding Member)

Nick Huang

Nick Huang graduated from Yale in 2011 with a B.A. in linguistics and now studies linguistics as a graduate student at the University of Maryland. From sunny Singapore, he has had experience with non-standard varieties of English, albeit of the Southeast Asian kind.


Zachary Maher

Member from 2010 to 2013 (Founding Member)

Zach Maher

Zach Maher graduated from Yale in 2013 with a B.A. and M.A. in linguistics.


Katie Ruffing

Member from 2011 to 2013

Katie Ruffing

Katie Ruffing graduated from Yale in 2013 with a B.A. in linguistics and a B.A. in English.


Peter Staub

Member in 2016

Peter Staub

Peter Staub is an undergraduate studying linguistics and cognitive science at Pomona College. He spent summer 2016 at Yale working on fixin' to and finna.