Welcome to the lab!

Welcome to the Meaning and Modality (M&M) Laboratory at Harvard Linguistics! We are interested in understanding the uniquely human capacity for language, especially the ability to convey abstract, infinite, specific meanings across a variety of modes for natural language, including both speech and sign. Our work spans the subfields of formal semantics, pragmatics, syntax, language acquisition, logic and psycholinguistics in an effort to understand the relationship between linguistic meaning, language mode, language development, and human cognition.


Latest News

Ethan at CogSci

July 19, 2021
Ethan Wilcox will be presenting a poster at CogSci 2021 (26-29 July) with the title "Using the interpolated maze task to assess incremental processing in english relative clauses" in collaboration with Pranli Vani & Roger Levy (MIT)

Giuseppe & Josh at SPP 2021

June 22, 2021
Giuseppe Ricciardi & Martin Joshua are going to present a poster with the title "Epistemic modality and the true nature of eavesdropping judgments" at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology (SPP) held online on June 28-July 2

Sara HCRP Grant

June 13, 2021
Sara received a grant from the Harvard College Research Program (HCRP) from the Dunwalke Fund for Undergraduate Research to conduct a summer project in the lab about triggers of differential object marking (DOM) in Persian, American Sign Language (ASL), Spanish, and Catalan.

Kate and Annemarie: grants for their work on representation of possibilities in emergent languages

June 13, 2021

Kate Davidson together with Annemarie Kocab and Jesse Snedeker (Harvard Psychology) received grants

- from the Dean's Competitive Fund for Promising Scholarship for collaborative work on "The Representation of Possibility in Language and in Thought: Evidence from Language Emergence."

- from the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Interfaculty Initiative for collaborative work on"The representation of possibility in users of Nicaraguan Sign Language and homesign."

Hande and Josh at CLS 57

May 25, 2021

The following members of our lab presented at the 57th Chicago Linguistic Society (CLS 57) on May 6-8. The conference was hosted by the University of Chicago.

• Josh Martin: "Emergent privativity and constrained modulation in adjective semantics" (talk)

• Hande Sevgi: "Syntax on its own is not enough: Sign language classifiers" (poster)

Yuhan IQSS grant

May 25, 2021
Yuhan Zhang received a grant from the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) for carrying on further experimental semantic work on de re/de dicto ambiguities.

Josh GSC Summer Grant

May 25, 2021
Josh Martin received a Summer Research Grant from the Graduate Student Council (GSC) for conducting experiments on the online processing of privative composition through the self-paced reading maze task.

Jack at PhoNE

May 25, 2021
Jack Rabinovitch presented "Towards a time course of Chinese tonogenesis: Evidence from phonologically conditioned syntax" at PhoNE on April 30.

Ethan and Kate at SALT 31

May 25, 2021
Ethan Wilcox presented a poster "Which presuppositions are subject to contextual felicity constraints?" (joint work with Roger Levy (MIT) and Kathryn Davidson) at  the 31st Semantics and Linguistic Theory conference (SALT 31) on May 7-9.  

Dr. Gunnar Lund!

May 4, 2021

Congratulations to lab member and former lab manager Dr. Gunnar Lund, who defended his Harvard Linguistics dissertation on "Pluractionality in Progress" - an outstanding accomplishment!