Michelle's Homepage

Dr Michelle Sheehan 

Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics

Helmore 323
Department of English and Media
Arts, Law and Social Sciences
Anglia Ruskin University
East Road
Cambridge, CB1 1P

Email: michelle.sheehan@anglia.ac.uk

Since August 2015 I have been a senior lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at Anglia Ruskin University, in Cambridge, UK. 

Before that, I studied for a degree in Modern Languages (Spanish and French) at the University of Oxford, an MA in Linguistics at the University of York and a PhD at Newcastle University and then worked as a researcher at the Universities of Newcastle, Durham and Cambridge. 

I am interested in the structure of language (syntactic theory), how languages vary and how we can model this variation (typology, comparative syntax) and how structure and meaning interact (syntax/semantics interface). I have a particular interest in languages descended from Latin (Romance languages), especially Spanish and Portuguese varieties and in the study of language universals from a variety of perspectives.  

Current projects

In a current project, Sonia Cyrino (UNICAMP) and I are studying causative constructions (I made John cryin Spanish and Portuguese varieties from a synchronic and diachronic perspective (funded by the British Academy). 

I am also working with John Williams (University of Cambridge) on artificial language learning experiments related to case and alignment (funded by a Cambridge Humanities Research Grant).

I am also working on syntactic ergativity in Mayan languages with Jamie Douglas (University of Cambridge) and Rodrigo Ranero (Maryland). 

With Marcel Pitteroff (University of Stuttgart), I am currently investigating partial control in French and German. 

In collaboration with M. Carmen Parafita Couto and Jeffrey Blokzijl (Leiden University), I am investigating the use of inflected infinitives in Galician and Portuguese.

With Christina Sevdali (Ulster University), I also am investigating finite control in Greek and Romanian. 

I am also an external consultant on the ERC-funded project 'Rethinking Comparative Syntax' on which I was previously employed full time. As part of that project, I am currently investigating cross-linguistic variation in ditransitives (with Anders Holmberg & Jenneke van der Wal) and passives (with Ian Roberts). 

Other things I am interested in and always thinking about are: subjecthood in Romance languages, word order, extraction restrictions, case and agreement, restructuring and micro-variation across Romance languages.  

I'd be very happy to hear from you in you are interested in any of the above projects or if you are a student interested in studying something syntax-related at Anglia Ruskin University.