I'm a fifth year PhD student in linguistics at MIT. Previously, I was at the University of Toronto, where I got a BA and MA in linguistics. I mainly work on syntax, and am particularly interested in case and agreement (especially ergative systems), clitic doubling, and movement. My research primarily focuses on Inuktitut, which I have been learning about in various ways (fieldwork, RA-ships, coursework) since 2009.

My dissertation (in progress) argues for a new characterization of the case/agreement system of Inuktitut (vs. related Inuit languages). The upshot is that microvariation in the underlying morphosyntax of object agreement morphology (i.e. phi-agreement vs. pronominal clitic doubling) is tightly linked to the distribution of case on nominals, as well as various other syntactic properties of the language. This, in turn, yields a new characterization of the ergative and antipassive case patterns in Inuktitut.

You can reach me at yuanm [at] mit [dot] edu.


(on the tundra near Iqaluit, Nunavut)