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Assistant Professor, Rutgers University 2020-
PhD in Linguistics , Harvard University 2019
BA in Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania 2012
As a semanticist interested in cross-linguistic typology, I investigate how the underlying building blocks of meaning compose to derive the patterns that we see within and across languages. To do so, I make use of both formal theoretic and experimental approaches to natural language semantics and pragmatics.
I received my Ph.D in Linguistics from Harvard University in May 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Gennaro Chierchia, with a dissertation looking at definite expressions. I am generally interested in elements that are associated (at least structurally) with the nominal domain such as demonstratives, anaphora, number marking, and quantifiers.

Dorothy at TEAL10 [2015.06]


Updated: February, 2024

Recent & upcoming..
Recent papers

Definite expressions with and without deixis [DRAFT]
WCCFL 41 Proceedings.

​_account of demonstratives, deriving anti-uniqueness
_deixis, unique modality hypothesis

A four-way distinction in English definite expressions [DRAFT]
SuB28 Proceedings.
_building blocks of definite descriptions, pronouns
Recent events

June 19 - July 14, 2023
LSA Institute 2023, UMass Amherst - course
Definiteness Systems within and across languages
co-taught with Florian Schwarz


August 14-16, 2023
SICOGG 25, Dongguk University, Seoul, Korea
invited speaker 

September 5-8, 2023
SuB28, Ruhr University Bochum
invited speaker

- ordered by type & year 

- color-coded by topic


PhD thesis

Ahn, Dorothy. 2019. THAT thesis: A competition-based mechanism for anaphoric expressions. PhD thesis, Harvard University.

Journal articles

Ahn, Dorothy. 2022. Indirectly direct: An account of demonstratives and pointing. In Linguistics and Philosophy. 

Ahn, Dorothy & Heejeong Ko. 2022. On non-conservativity of Korean floating quantifiers. In Glossa.

Ahn, Dorothy & Snedeker, Jesse. 2021. Early acquisition of plural morphology in a classifier language: Data from Korean 2-4 year olds. In Language Learning and Development.

Ahn, Dorothy. 2019. ASL IX to locus as a modifier. In Snippets.

Ahn, Dorothy & Van der Wal, Jenneke. 2019. What does that Lugwere demonstratives refer to? A semantic analysis of proximity and exteriority. In Studies in African Linguistics Vol 48.

Ahn, Dorothy. & Sauerland, Uli. 2017. Measure constructions with relative measures: Towards a syntax of non-conservative construals. The Linguistic Review. doi:10.1515/tlr-2017-0001 [DRAFT


Ahn, Dorothy, Ankana Saha, & Uli Sauerland. 2020. Positively Polar Plurals. Proceedings of SALT 30, Cornell. August 17-20, 2020.

Ahn, Dorothy. 2020. ASL IX to locus as a modifier. Proceedings of NELS 50, MIT. [DRAFT[SLIDES]

Ahn, Dorothy & Sudha Arunachalam. 2020. Anaphoric that: Difference between adults and children. Proceedings of BUCLD 44. October 25-27. [PREPRINT]

Ahn, Dorothy, Annemarie Kocab & Kathryn Davidson. 2019. The role of contrast in anaphoric expressions in ASL. Proceedings of GLOW in Asia 2019, Seoul, Korea. August 6-9, 2019. [DRAFT]

Kocab, Annemarie, Dorothy Ahn, Gunnar Lund & Kathryn Davidson. 2019. Reconsidering agreement in sign languages. Poster at GLOW 42, Oslo, Norway. May 7-10. [POSTER]

Ahn, Dorothy & Kathryn Davidson. 2017. Where pointing matters: English and Korean demonstratives. Proceedings of NELS 2017, Iceland. October 27-20. [DRAFT]

Ahn, Dorothy. 2017. Semantics of definite descriptions: A micro-typology. Proceedings of GLOW in Asia 2017, Singapore. February 20-22.

Ahn, Dorothy. & Charnavel, Isabelle. 2017. Perspective on Korean Anaphors: Comparing Inanimate cachey vs. Animate caki-casin. Proceedings of WCCFL34 

Ahn, Dorothy. 2016. NPI intervention of too. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 20

Ahn, Dorothy. & Sauerland, Uli. (2015). The grammar of relative measurement. Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory 25, 125-142. doi:10.3765/salt.v25i0.3062 

Ahn, Dorothy. & Sauerland, Uli. (2015). Reverse Quantification with Proportional Quantifiers. NELS 45: Proceedings of the Forty-Fifth Annual Meeting of the North East Linguistic Society, MIT. [DRAFT]

Ahn, Dorothy. 2015. The semantics of additive either. Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 19


Ahn, Dorothy. In Prep. Bare Noun Blocking.

Ahn, Dorothy. In Prep. Unified theory of anaphoric expressions.

Ahn, Dorothy. 2019. Anaphoric expressions in ASL. MS, Lingbuzz.

Ahn, Dorothy. 2016. Empathy and deixis: A deictic analysis of giving verbs. Harvard Working Papers in Linguistics.​

Ahn, Dorothy. 2015. Condition A, Exemption, and Logophoricity in Korean. MS (Generals paper), Harvard.


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