IPA: [ˈmeɪɡən ˈfaʊli]
Contact: mfowlie [at] ucla [dot] edu
Mailing Address: McGill Linguistics Department 1085 Dr. Penfield, Room 111 Montreal, Quebec H3A 1A7
I am a researcher at McGill University in Montreal. I run the McGill Ergativity Lab. My main job is to implement a questionnaire to help uncover the properties of ergative languages. I am just finishing my PhD in linguistics at UCLA.
My primary research interests lie in connecting mathematical and computational linguistics with mainstream syntax. Mathematical approaches can complement mainstream approaches, for example by identifying the place of human language in the Chomsky hierarchy, and can also clarify existing theories, by forcing their formulation to be completely explicit.
I focus mainly on Minimalist Grammars, Ed Stabler (1997 etc)'s formalisation of Chomsky (1995 etc)'s minimalism. MGs are of interest because they define the right general class of languages (MCFLs), they are an efficient and intuitive formalism, and as they are formalisations of the current work of a great many syntacticians, MGs are a bridge to mainstream syntax.
My dissertation is about adjunction. I consider how best to model adjuncts in minimalism, what formal properties these models have, and how adjuncts can be learned. In terms of learnability, I consider learnability in the mathematical algorithm sense, as well as taking an experimental approach.
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