Research Interests


I have a long-standing interest in the description and analysis of Mbyá, a Tupí-Guaraní language spoken in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. I have been doing linguistic fieldwork on Mbyá in these three countries since 2007.

Theoretical Linguistics

My main theoretical interest is the study of meaning (semantics and pragmatics), and its relation to word and sentence structure (morphosyntax). Two topics I have investigated in this area are the expression of tense and aspect (temporal marking on nouns, vacuous uses of the present tense, and resultative predicates) and the expression of comparison and related operations, in particular cross-linguistic variation in this domain. I am currently interested in referential choice and reference tracking, i.e. choices that speakers make in the production of referential expressions, and strategies that they follow when tracking the reference of expressions in discourse.

Language Documentation

Between October 2013 and May 2015, I served as the scientific coordinator of the National Inventory of the Cultural Heritage of the Guaranis of the state of Rio de Janeiro and Espírito Santo in Brazil. This project aimed to document aspects of the oral culture of the Mbyá people, such as songs, narratives, ceremonial discourses and oratory. The project was community based, as it was written with representatives of the participating communities, and the documentation team consisted entirely of Mbyá researchers. It was financed by the Brazilian National Institute for the Historical and Artistic Heritage, and was carried out by the Indigenous Museum of Rio de Janeiro. About eighty hours of audio and video recording were produced in the project, which are still being edited and annotated.

Digital Linguistics

I am engaged in the development of digital resources for the study and processing of Mbyá. At present, my main focus is the construction of a dependency treebank in the Universal Dependencies project.