Jeffrey Geiger

I'm a PhD candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago.

My main research interest is in experimental and probabilistic pragmatics and its interfaces, concentrating on the interpretation of context-sensitive constructions.


Dissertation work

My dissertation is a two-pronged investigation of nonidentity in the interpretation of context-dependent constructions. The committee consists of Ming Xiang (chair), Chris Kennedy, and Jason Merchant. This research is supported by an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, #BCS-1827404.

Verbal anaphora in context
The first half of my dissertation explores the interpretation of verb phrase ellipsis situated in a rich discourse context, investigating the extent to which information from the broader discourse context is considered during interpretation even in the presence of a viable linguistic antecedent. I also provide a probabilistic model of the integration of information from both sources during interpretation and compare VPE to the interpretation of other anaphors like do that.

Click for verbal anaphora research products.

Deaccenting licensing

The second half of my dissertation explores the licensing of deaccenting through the presence of nonidentical constituents in a linguistic antecedent. The initial findings suggest that constituents cannot be deaccented when lexically inferable from a constituent in the antecedent, which potentially complicates accounts of emphasis licensing that rely on lexical inferencing relations to explain deaccenting.

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Earlier work

Language game rhythm

In earlier qualifying paper work advised by Alan Yu, I investigated the structure and learnability of iterative-infixing language games.

Click for language game research products.


2020: PhD Chicago, Linguistics (expected)
2016: MA Chicago, Linguistics
2012: BA Northwestern, Linguistics and Geography

Click for a PDF copy of my CV.


Jeffrey Geiger
1115 East 58th Street
Rosenwald Hall #224
Chicago, IL 60637-1511