I am a formal semanticist, and occasionally an interfacist (semantics-pragmatics-syntax).

My primary interests lie in exploring how human beings compute complexity in meaning and structure, using formal mathematical and logical tools. My specific research topics so far have included modality (epistemic and deontic), evidentiality (nominal and propositional), questions (wh-, polar, biased, embedded, concealed) and question particles, discourse particles, embedding and complementation, disjunction, and negative polarity items. I am also very interested in how typology and semantics interact and inform us about underlying universals in human linguistic systems.

My main empirical focus is South Asian languages, although recent joint work has focused on Romanian, Oromo, and Cantonese. Most of my data is gathered through virtual/irl native speaker surveys or onsite fieldwork.

I was recently awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER grant for my 2022-2027 research project Theory, Fieldwork, and Typology: A Semantic/Pragmatic Triad in Underrepresented Linguistic Systems, in the NSF Division Of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences.
[dept. news]

Apart from the Institute of Linguistics, I am also a member of the graduate faculty in the Center for Cognitive Sciences at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining UMN, I received a Ph.D. in Linguistics with a Certificate in Cognitive Science from Rutgers University (2017), and was a Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics at Harvard University (2018 and 2019).


I organized (F)ASAL-11 at the University of Minnesota, March 26th-March 28th, 2021:
Formal Approaches to South Asian Languages conference

A dear friend and fellow semanticist passed away recently, I made a website to celebrate his works and his life:     Rahul Balusu, in memoriam


Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Proceedings Papers & Manuscripts

Invited Talks


2017. Evidentiality and Questions: Bangla at the Interfaces       RUCore       LingBuzz

Broadly speaking, two themes are intertwined in this dissertation: (i) perspective-sensitive elements such as evidentials and epistemic modals across different speech acts; (ii) embedded and unembedded disjunction and alternative questions. Both themes are explored from the lens of the syntax-semantics interface.

Refereed Presentations


[Here is a brief CV. ]
(Usually this website is more up-to-date than the CV.)