September 12, 2012

New Professor and Postdoctoral Fellows

We are happy to introduce a few new faces in our department! Joining us from UBC (via Leiden), U of C, and MIT (via Northeastern University) are Tyler Peterson, Nicholas Welch, and Bronwyn Bjorkman. 
Assistant professor Tyler Peterson
Tyler completed his PhD in 2010 at UBC. His thesis, entitled "Epistemic Modality and Evidentiality in Gitksan at the Semantics-Pragmatics Interface", was supervised by Lisa Matthewson and was an in-depth formal study of the semantics and pragmatics of modality and evidentiality in Gitksan (a Tsimshianic language of British Columbia).
In addition to Gitksan, Tyler has worked on Amazonian languages. For the past few years, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics.
Tyler will be an assistant professor with us for one year, and he will be teaching English Words, Morphological Patterns in Language, Advanced Morphology, Introduction to Semantics, Semantic Theory, and Advanced Semantics II, which will be a seminar on the semantics and pragmatics of evidentials and modals. Tyler will be our departmental semanticist while Michela Ippolito is away on sabbatical.

Postdoctoral fellows Nicholas Welch and Bronwyn Bjorkman
Nicholas Welch joins our department as a postdoctoral fellow. His dissertation, entitled “The Bearable Lightness of Being: The Encoding of Coincidence in Two-Copula Languages”, was completed in 2012 at the University of Calgary under the supervision of Elizabeth Ritter. He is interested in Athabaskan languages, syntax, historical linguistics, and phonetics.
This year, Nicholas will be working with Keren Rice on the syntactic structure of individual-level predicates in Athabaskan languages such as Tłı̨chǫ Yatıì (Dogrib).

Bronwyn Bjorkman joins our department as a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow. She completed her PhD at MIT in September 2011 and taught at Northeastern University (Boston, MA) for a year before joining us. Her thesis was supervised by Sabine Iatridou, and was entitled “BE-ing Default: The Morphosyntax of Auxiliaries”. The thesis was an investigation of the syntactic mechanisms underlying auxiliary verb constructions; she argued that these arise from the interaction of more general principles of verbal inflection and morphosyntactic realization.
This year Bronwyn will be working with Elizabeth Cowper, extending this work to the domain of motion verb auxiliaries (e.g. the going to future). She is also working on projects involving the morphological marking of counterfactual/subjunctive conditionals, and the properties of asymmetric coordination structures.

Welcome Tyler, Nicholas, and Bronwyn!

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