Matthew Tucker: IHR Graduate Fellow Presentation
May 4th, 4-6pm, Stevenson Fireside Lounge
April 28, 2012
Matthew Tucker is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Linguistics. His dissertation research involves the kinds of agreement (i.e., verbal conjugation) seen cross-linguistically with non-referential expressions such as reflexives (i.e., words like ‘himself’ and ‘herself’). His dissertation involves primary fieldwork on Acehnese (spoken in Northern Sumatra) and Berber (spoken in Algeria and Morocco). Mr. Tucker’s dissertation argues that natural language often provides other ways of tracking relations between non-referential nouns and their verbs, making the presence of otherwise obligatory agreement superflous. This, in turn, is a general conclusion about human language which is exemplified in many phenomena cross-linguistically. More broadly, Mr. Tucker’s research focuses on the interaction between syntax (word order) and other parts of language. He is involved in the IHR research cluster Crosslinguistic Investigations in Syntax-Prosody (CrISP), where his work focuses on Arabic and the connections between syntax and word-level metrical structure.