Sessional Lecturer at the University of British Columbia
jozina_vander [at] ubc.ca
I’m interested in the cross-linguistic articulation of syntax and semantics, especially on TAM (tense-aspect-modal) markers. There is a lot to think about here. Within syntax, I’ve been focusing on how how movement and ellipsis phenomena such as VP-topicalization or VP-ellipsis shed light on the syntax of the extended VP projection. Within semantics, I am interested in establishing the basic semantics of TAM markers within the context of cross-linguistic research, such as how the modal space is carved in terms of possibility and necessity vs. the type of modality. For more info, see my research papers page.
I primarily work on Javanese, a Western Malayo-Polynesian language of the Austronesian family spoken by over 90 million people in Indonesia. I have been conducting fieldwork in Indonesia yearly since 2010, after having lived there for one year. I also recently lived in Semarang to start a new project on language documentation of the Central Javanese dialect spoken there, and to follow up on some work on an East Javanese dialect spoken in Paciran, a village in the Lamongan region of East Java in Indonesia.
The importance of language documentation and preservation is another issue that I like to talk about. There are almost 6000 languages in the world, but researchers estimate that around half of these languages are endangered, or nearly extinct (www.ethnologue.org). Beyond the multitude of languages, there is an amazing amount of dialects, many of which have never been documented or researched. This is one of the reasons why I find researching Javanese to be so rewarding: only the ‘standard’ variety of Javanese (the dialect of the courtly centers of Yogyakarta and Surakarta/Solo) is mainly studied or taught, not the many dialects, which are actually very different. See my page on Javanese for links on this language as well as a current list of linguistic study references.
Paciran, East Java, Indonesia; June 2011