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 the multiple modalities for natural language, including but not limited to 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.
(Lab meeting, September 2022)
Guiseppe Ricciardi defended his dissertation On the Linguistic Encoding of the Notion of Inference, which takes on the problem of epistemic modals from a new experimental and theoretical angle and makes the case for their encoding as evidentials (his committee was Kate Davidson, Ted Gibson, Susi Wurmbrand, and Manfred Krikfa). We're thrilled to hear that Giuseppe is taking up a position with Frontiers publishing upon graduation - huge congratulations, Giuseppe!!
Shannon Bryant defended her dissertation Lost in space: Pronoun choice in English locative prepositional phrases, which takes up one of the thorniest puzzles adjacent to Binding Theory, the distribution of reflexives and personal pronouns in locative prepositional phrases, through a theoretical syntactic and experimental semantic lens (her committee was Isabelle Charnavel, Kate Davidson, and Jesse Snedeker). Shannon is headed to Rutgers Center for Cognitive Science as a postdoc (check out her website here)- we're so excited for her future colleagues and students there. Huge congratulations, Shannon!!