About me

Hi! My name is Sherry Yong Chen, and I’m a linguist.

My academic pursuits have allowed me to live in various places around the world. I am currently doing a PhD in Linguistics at MIT. Previously, 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 mainly interested in issues related to syntax, semantics, and their interfaces, involving both theoretical, experimental and computational inquiry.  I also have an interest in language acquisition and tonal phonology.

Generally speaking, questions that interest me include:

  • How are meanings composed in human language?
  • What is the mapping between form and meaning?
  • How is this mapping represented cognitively and computed in real time?

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 blog 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.