I’m a first generation student, native of Germany, dog person, compulsive note taker, and enthusiastic audio book listener. Here‘s how my name is pronounced.
I didn’t plan to become a linguist (does anyone?), but when I stumbled into my first syntax class as an English major and saw my first X-bar tree diagrams, I was hooked.
I also never planned to live in the US, but in the summer of 1998 a Fulbright fellowship took me to NYU and I ended up tagging on a visit to Madison to give a talk about my dissertation. When the English Department advertised a tenure-track position in English syntax shortly thereafter, I applied, and, against all odds, was chosen for the position.
Linguistically, I was, and still am, intrigued by the relationship between form and meaning, but I’ve moved away a bit from formal syntactic theory to take on questions around how grammar works in discourse. Unlike many other linguists, I’m also quite interested in the public perception of grammar (hence my ongoing book project on “Bad Grammar”). Recent dissertations that I have directed include a corpus-based analysis of digital news as a register and a comparative analysis of NP complexity in different academic disciplines.
While I mostly work on verbs, my favorite English words include the nouns serendipity and comeuppance.