At McGill, I co-lead the Montreal Underdocumented Languages Lab, a venue for linguistic fieldworkers from Montreal to meet and discuss ongoing research on a wide variety of languages. My own fieldwork is focused on languages of West Africa.


Since 2010, most of my research has focused on Wolof, a Niger-Congo language of the Atlantic branch. My work centres on the dialect spoken in the north of Senegal, specifically the city of Ndar (St. Louis) and the Walo region (Ndombo Alarba). I have worked on a variety of topics: A’-movement, copular sentences, clitics, control, information structure, tense and aspect. Below you can find samples of storyboards I developed for investigating the interaction of morphosyntactic and information-structural properties of utterances.


In 2020, I began working on the Volta-Niger language Igala. Igala is a minority language spoken in Nigeria, with around 1.5 million speakers. It is heavily understudied, both from the descriptive and from the formal perspective. I am currently working on several topics related to the syntax and semantics of the left periphery: resumption in wh-movement, sentence-final particles, and copular sentences.

My research on Igala is currently funded by two grants:

  • FRQSC Soutien à la recherche pour la relève professorale, 2022-2025: “Catégories fonctionnelles de l’igala” #2023-NP-311572 (PI: Martina Martinović)
  • SSHRC Insight Development Grant, 2022-2024: “Functional categories at the Igala clausal periphery” #430-2022-00486 (PI: Martina Martinović, Co-investigator: Salem Ochala Ejeba, Collaborator: Kathryn Franich)


Demba’s Voyage

This storyboard for the elicitation of a past- or future-tense narrative is an adaptation of the storyboard “Hawaii Trip” by Rose Underhill & Seth Cable.

Twin Troubles

The goal of this storyboard was to get specificational copular sentences in a natural context.

Moussa And His Friends – Version 1

This storyboard was used to get specificationalpseudocleft constructions. It has two versions, to get different orders of the two major constituents in a pseudocleft (wh-phrase & NP).

Moussa And His Friends – Version 2

The second version of the storyboard above, to reverse the order of the wh-phrase and the NP in specificational pseudoclefts.