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Personal profile


I studied at the University of Cologne and then completed a MA by research in Linguistics at SUNY Buffalo.

For my PhD I moved to the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen and began fieldwork on Saliba, an Oceanic language of Papua New Guinea.

In 2000 I started a two-year postdoctoral project at the University of Melbourne and since 2002 I have been a member of the Linguistics Program here at Monash University.

Research interests


My main research interests lie in the areas of language documentation and analysis, linguistic typology, cross-linguistic mapping of semantics and syntax, language change and the discourse-syntax interface. Some areas I have particularly worked in are listed below.

Language documentation, description and analysis

Narratives, pronouns, reference tracking

Three-participant events

Valence & transitivity

Demonstratives, spatial deixis

Supervision interests

I have been supervising research theses at Honours, Masters and PhD level in a range of areas, including:

Language documentation, analysis and grammatical description


Semantic-syntax mapping

Syntax-discourse interface

Narrative structure


Child language acquisition

Conceptual metaphors

Historical linguistics, lexical reconstruction

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or