My linguistic research interests focus on the morphosyntax of Slavic, specifically on noun phrases in Russian and how they fit into the larger structure of a clause.  My broader interests are in linguistic typology, geolinguistics, and the relation between language and history.


Languages of the Word: An Introduction. Third edition. Cambridge University Press.

Languages of the World: An Introduction. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press. (2017).

Languages of the World: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press. (2012).

The Indo-European Controversy. Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics. Cambridge University Press (2015). With Martin W. Lewis.

Copular Sentences in Russian: A Theory of Intra-Clausal Relations (Studies in Natural Language and Linguistic Theory). Springer. (2007).

Research Interests

  • Russian Morphosyntax: structure and interpretation of noun phrases; adjectives and other modifiers; split noun phrases; quantification and numerals; scrambling
  • Historical Linguistics: origins and development of the Indo-European language family, diachronic syntax, and language contact
  • Semantics: negation and polarity; referentiality and the lack thereof; distributivity; count/mass distinction
  • Linguistic Typology: morphological and syntactic variation across languages and parametric theory
  • Language Attrition & Heritage Languages, esp. of Heritage Russian
  • Languages: Russian, Italian, Tatar, Hebrew, Yiddish

Languages of the World Blog

Check out my Languages of the World Blog.

Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge