I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Germanic Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin. My main areas of research include the syntax-semantics interface, contrastive linguistics, language contact, and the application of linguistic research to language pedagogy. I work primarily within the Cognitive Linguistics frameworks of Frame Semantics and Construction Grammar, and emphasize the relationship between language, culture, and human cognition.
Much of my research focuses on the relation between verb meaning and grammatical structure both within and across languages. In particular, I use corpus data to investigate sets of semantically related verbs and their argument realization patterns in German and English in order to determine the extent to which a verb’s meaning is predictive of its syntactic behavior. From a cross-linguistic perspective, I show that words and grammatical constructions that are deemed equivalent in lexical resources often exhibit subtle differences due to cultural differences, register variation, or general differences in linguistic structure.
This line of research lends itself to applied fields such as language pedagogy and lexicography. In this respect, I am working with others at UT-Austin to develop a bilingual (German-English) dictionary with detailed descriptions and naturally-occurring examples. This resource is built on principles from FrameNet and emphasizes problematic differences in the cultural connotations of words as well as their grammatical patterns.
I am also very interested in the communities of German immigrants outside of Europe. I have been working as a graduate research assistant with the Texas German Dialect Project and have recently begun fieldwork on the Pomeranian Low German immigrant community near my hometown in Central Wisconsin.
My other scholarly interests include historical linguistics, corpus linguistics, the history and philosophy of linguistics, and older Germanic languages.
Publications and Presentations
Department of Germanic Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, C3300
Austin, TX 78712-0304, U.S.A.
UT Germanic Studies
German Frame-based Lexicon Online
Texas German Dialect Project