Since 2010 I have been doing fieldwork on Wolof, a Niger-Congo language (Atlantic branch) spoken primarily in Senegal and also parts of the Gambia and Mauritania. There is a rich descriptive literature on Wolof, yet the language remains relatively understudied by formal linguists. My research seeks to fill this gap by bringing Wolof data to bear on theoretical questions, including extra-linguistic communicative gestures, the syntax of comparison, the semantics of property concepts, and the nature of stativity.
I have done extensive fieldwork with native Wolof speakers in Chicago, Philadelphia, Paris, and Senegal. In the fall of 2013 and winter of 2014, I will be conducting two field trips in Senegal to collect data for my dissertation, titled States in the semantic ontology. This work is funded by a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (BCS-1324343).