About me

I’m an Assistant Professor in Department of Linguistics at University of California, Santa Cruz. My research interests lie in semantics (pragmatics included) and the experimental approach to studying meaning. I’m actively working on

  • a dynamic semantics approach to distributivity that allows us to make reference to the mereological structure of dependencies, a structure needed to account for distributive numerals and many other non-canonical distributivity items. This research stems from my dissertation (co-advisors: Simon Charlow and Veneeta Dayal, committee members:  Robert Henderson and Ken Safir)
  • how to probe and model the discourse potential of bare noun phrases (in collaboration with Kristen Syrett)
  • what languages with overt discourse particles (like Cantonese and Mandarin) tell us about the compositional nature of pragmatics (in collaboration with Diti Bhadra and Haoze Li)

Before coming to UC Santa Cruz, I studied at Rutgers University for my PhD and Chinese University of Hong Kong for my MPhil and BA.

I go by both as Jess and 海琪 (pronounced as hɔɪ keɪ).

You can reach me at jesslaw@ucsc.edu.

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