My main areas of specialization within linguistics are formal semantics and pragmatics. Within these fields, my principal research interests are:
• anaphora, definiteness, and specificity
• how to formally model the role of context in interpretation: presupposition and projective meaning, focus, implicature, perspective, and domain restriction; the role of the Question Under Discussion in interpretation.
• the semantics and pragmatics of modality, mood, tense, and aspect
As a student I studied formal semantics under Barbara H. Partee at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. I then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford, where I was exposed to interdisciplinary work on pragmatics in the tradition of Paul Grice, and work on Planning Theory in AI. Since then I have been on the faculty of the Department of Linguistics at The Ohio State University, where I am also an adjunct Professor in Philosophy. My work on pragmatics is driven by the conviction that in this realm the best work will result from interdisciplinary work, and this has resulted in a extended dialogue with colleagues in computer science, logic, philosophy, and psychology. For over a decade, I have been involved in an interdisciplinary Pragmatics Initiative (www.pragmatics.osu.edu), involving not only scholars and graduate students from the relevant disciplines at OSU, but also other scholars from the U.S. and Europe. Recently I've been collaborating with David Beaver, Mandy Simons, and Judith Tonhauser, with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation, to study Projective Meanings: presupposition, conventional implicature, and other non-assertoric aspects of utterance meaning. I’m working on a monograph on Reference in Context.