Time, space, change, and causation are things that we expect to encounter in the study of the physical world, but
the work of theoretical linguists has shown that these concepts also figure in the grammar of human language;
explicitly and formally, in syntactic and semantic representations. I began my work in theoretical linguistics by
uncovering some of the ways in which these properties are encoded in the meanings of verbs. Verb meanings
can be described within a range of possible linguistic event structures that organize temporal, spatial, agentive,
and causal elements of meaning within a kind of 'natural language theory of events'. This has been the focus of
my initial research. Much of this research was focused on demonstrating the existence of some general
aspectual constraints on the syntax/semantics interface (form/meaning interface). Certain temporal properties
of the event described by a verb determine the syntactic properties of that verb and its arguments. This principle
applies universally, across languages, and allows clear predictions to be made about universal versus
language-particular aspects of the acquisition of verbs.
In my later research, I moved towards an extended view of event structure, which includes the syntactic
representation of 'mind', or the grammar of point of view. This encompasses such linguistic phenomena as the
syntax of person, pronominal reference, logophoricity, psychological predicates, spatial and temporal deixis,
evidential and evaluative predicates, modality, and the syntax/discourse interface. These all involve elements of
linguistic meaning which must be evaluated relative to some sentient being. Whereas the aim of my work on the
encoding of time and space in syntax was to uncover a 'natural language theory of events', the aim of my
research on the interaction of point of view and syntax has been to elucidate a 'natural language theory of mind'.
Or more concretely, the syntax of sentience. All of this work is motivated by a vision of a clean, spare, and
articulated theory of syntax and its interfaces with meaning, including all the deictic elements of time, space and
point of view.
Most recently, I have begun to look at the interface of grammar and modality. How exactly does this abstract
human faculty of grammar interact with the physical means of expression, such as vocal or manual articulation?
The Intersection of Linguistic Research and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
Point of View, Evidentiality, Information Structure
2006 "Evidentiality, experiencers, and the syntax of sentience in Japanese". Journal of East Asian Linguistics
2004 “The interaction of clausal syntax, discourse roles, and information structure in questions”. Workshop
on Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics of Questions, 16th European Summer School in Logic, Language and
Information, Université Henri Poincaré, Nancy, France, with Peggy Speas.
2003 "Configurational Properties of Point of View Roles", with Peggy Speas. In DiSciullo, A. (ed.), Asymmetry
in Grammar. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 315-343.
Ms. "Short distance pronouns, point of view, and the nature of pronominal reference".
Aspect and Event Structure
2000 "A History of Events in Linguistic Theory", with James Pustejovsky. In Tenny, C. and J. Pustejovsky
(eds.), Events as Grammatical Objects. Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
2000 "Core events and adverbial modification". In Tenny, C. and J. Pustejovsky (eds.), Events as
Grammatical Objects. Stanford: Center for the Study of Language and Information.
1998 "Modification, event structure, and the word/phrase asymmetry", with Anne-Marie DiSciullo. In Kiyomi
Kusumoto (ed.) Proceedings of NELS 27. GLSA, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
1995 "Aspectual Roles, Modularity and Acquisition; with a discussion of Contact Locatives". In Coopmans, P.,
M. Everaert, and J. Grimshaw (eds.) 2000. Lexical Specification and Insertion. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 379-
1995 "Modularity in Thematic versus Aspectual Licensing. Paths and moved objects in motion verbs".
Canadian Journal of Linguistics 40(2):201-234.
1995 "How Motion Verbs are Special. The interaction of linguistic and pragmatic information in aspectual verb
meanings". Pragmatics and Cognition. Vol. 3(1):31-73.
1992 "The Aspectual Interface Hypothesis". In Lexical Matters, edited by I. Sag and A. Szabolsci. Stanford:
Center for the Study of Language and Information.
1998 "Psych verbs and verbal passives in Pittsburghese". LINGUISTICS 36(3).
1986 "Tone and Cyclicity in Tokyo Japanese". Unpublished ms. (Posted due to inquiries.) On some
stratification in tonal morphology in Japanese, written in the context of phonological theory of 1986; using data
from 日本語発音アクセント辞典 (1966: 日本放送出版協会).
My experience in industry has covered many aspects of natural language processing, including:
ontologies and semantic annotation, named entity recognition, discourse annotation, sentiment extraction,
statistical and rule-based parsers, machine translation, and working with a variety of corpus types. I have also
worked as consultant in e-discovery.
I also have a specialty in Japanese natural language processing. I have worked as Japanese Language
Technology Manager designing systems for disabled persons who communicate using keyboard systems to
speak (Semantic Compaction Systems), as well as other diverse experience in Japanese Language Technology.
2000 Tenny, C. and J. Pustejovsky (eds.), Events as Grammatical Objects. Stanford: Center for
the Study of Language and Information. 510 pp.
1991 Berwick, R., S. Abney, and C. Tenny (eds.), Principle-Based Parsing: Computation and
Psycholinguistics. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 408 pp.
I created an Introduction to Linguistics course built around an in-class fieldwork exercise, in which the students
had to go from a human being to a grammar. The class was a featured course at the Linguistic Society of
America's Poster Session on Teaching Undergraduate Linguistics at the 2004 LSA annual meeting.
Papers, Books, etc.
Industry and Natural Language Processing Resume