Hi! My name is Sherry Yong Chen, and I’m a linguist.
My academic pursuits have granted me the privilege to live in various places around the world. I am currently doing a PhD in Linguistics at MIT as a Presidential Fellow. Prior to coming to Boston, I completed an MPhil in General Linguistics at the University of Oxford (2015-2017), and a BA in General Linguistics at the University of Hong Kong (2012-2015). I also spent a semester at the University of Melbourne as an exchange student (Fall 2013).
I hail from a tiny little town called Longyou (southeastern China), known for some mysterious grottoes that are thought to date back at least 2,000 years.
As a linguist……
I am broadly interested in syntax-semantics interface and language acquisition, involving both theoretical and experimental inquiry. I also a developing interest in syntax-prosody interface.
Generally speaking, questions that interest me include:
- How are meanings composed in human language, and what is the mapping between form and meaning?
- How is this mapping relation computed in real time?
- How do children come to acquire language? What are the “internal mechanisms” for language acquisition?
To address these questions, I adopt a formal approach in my theoretical work, and make extensive use of behavioral techniques, from (speeded) acceptability judgements, self-paced reading, to eye tracking.
When I’m not thinking about linguistics……
Sometimes I translate TED talks and manage a website called Publishing Insights. My other hobbies include running a studyblr where I (pretend to be a teenager and) post/reblog study diaries, and write quirky poems on the refrigerator. Oh and I love platypus!
My favourite book: Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter.