Research

Here is an overview of some of my research interests and projects:

Word order and information structure in the history of Icelandic

In my PhD thesis, I present a diachronic account for the emergence of expletives in Icelandic from the earliest texts to the present day. This development is set against the backdrop of Icelandic clause structure, with particular attention to verb-second, information structure and the left periphery. See a recent paper here.

As I showed, the development of expletives is intimately connected with other changes and my work has fed into a wider collaboration with Christin Schätzle (University of Konstanz). Together, we have developed a theoretical analysis using LFG for how the syntactic encoding of information structure changed over time in Icelandic, prompting a series of changes with respect to e.g. verb position, subject position, dative subjects and expletives. See e.g. here.

Visual and quantitative methods for investigating syntactic change

I am interested in state-of-the-art methodologies for investigating syntactic change. In my postdoctoral position at Ghent I am annotating Middle Low German texts to be included in a Penn-style treebank designed to facilitate future corpus-based studies of Middle Low German syntax.

As a guest researcher at Konstanz on project D02 of SFB-TRR 161 Evaluation Metrics for Visual Analytics in Linguistics  I have been exploring how visualisation methodologies can make the workflow of the historical linguist more efficient and yield deeper insights of the data. See a recent paper here.

Linguistic approaches to orality and narrative devices in the medieval Icelandic sagas

I am also interested in applying insights from linguistics and corpus methodologies to broader problems in medieval Scandinavian studies. I am currently examining syntactic devices for the management of discourse participants in the sagas from the perspective of information structure.

Constraints on syntactic variation: noun phrases in early Germanic languages

I am also involved with this project which focuses on variation in noun phrase word order across early Germanic (funded by the Norwegian Research Council, 2017-20).