Robert Henderson

About Robert Henderson

The semantics of human languages involves complex representations and operations over those representations. The goal of my research is to design logics in which one can define representations and operations over those representations that closely mimic what is observed in human languages. This allows us to then model how people interpret the meanings of arbitrary expressions in the languages they speak. 

To understand how meaning in human languages works in general, we need evidence from a large variety of languages. For this reason my research has a strong empirical component. I have done primary fieldwork on a number of Mayan languages spoken in Guatemala. I work to describe, document, and analyze these languages in their own right, while also discovering what they can tell us about how human languages work in general.

Related News

  • Robert Henderson and his colleague Ryan Bennett (Yale) have just received a three and a half year collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation to do research documenting and describing aspects of the endangered Mayan language Uspanteko.... read more
  • Over the winter break, Robert Henderson made a two week trip to Guatemala. He reconnected with Guatemalan linguists in Patzun and Patzicia. He also helped a colleague and often coauthor, Ryan Bennett (Yale), administer a perception experiment on... read more
  • Robert Henderson was in Japan the week of November 15th. He gave an invited talk at the 12th Logic and Engineering Natural Language Semantics conference held at Ochanomizu University in Tokyo. He spoke on "Pluractional Demonstrations", which... read more
  • Robert Henderson attended NELS 46 at Concordia University in Montreal over the weekend. On Oct 17th, he put on his syntax hat to present joint work with Jessica Coon (McGill) on some prima facie exceptions to the ban on the extraction of ergative... read more

Research Interests

Semantics, Logic, Morphology, Mesoamerican languages (especially Mayan)

Robert Henderson's picture

Contact Information

Robert Henderson
Associate Professor
Office: Communication 306


Ph.D. Linguistics, UC Santa Cruz, 2012