“Linguistics is a belief system"
My research interests are mostly on the sound-related side of the field: how phonology, phonetics, and morphology (and sometimes syntax) interact. My work focuses particularly on under-studied African languages, and I’m also very interested in endangered language description & documentation. On the theoretical side, I am especially interested in typology, and particularly on Optimality Theoretic approaches to it. Some of the topics I’m currently pursuing are long-distance consonant interactions (assimilation and dissimilation), the phonology of click consonants, and the phonetics & phonology of Southern African languages.
The National Research Foundation of South Africa made a short video about my work, which can be found here. I’ve got a grant from National Geographic, called ‘Rediscovering and conserving Khoisan languages in South Africa’.
My research explores the morpho-syntactic properties of functional categories and their contribution to semantic (and pragmatic) interpretation. My current SSHRC-funded project, held jointly with Martina Wiltschko, explores the hypothesis that the structural parallels between clauses and nominal constituents includes a speech act layer of functional categories. We are currently investigating the syntax of impersonal pronouns, formality distinctions in persona pronouns, naming and other types of nominals whose internal structure provides evidence for or against this hypothesis.
My main research interests are the perception of speech and how it interacts with phonology, language experience, and more general cognitive structures, such as memory and attention. Some of my early work focused on the perception of place of articulation and its relationship to cross-linguistic patterns in place assimilation. Later, my research interests expanded to include work on how observers learn to perceive the visual properties of speech, and how the perception of talker identity may change from one language to another. More recently, I have been trying to figure out how to tie all these various strands of thought together, by testing how exemplar-based models of perception might account for the properties of speech that are preserved in memory, and whether language experience determines what the content of each exemplar can be. I have also advised both graduate and undergraduate honors students on a wide variety of topics, including the construction of computational models for tone and intonation perception, and the sociolinguistic evaluation of voice quality.
For more information visit my website: http://www.uofclinguistics.org/
My research centres on issues of theoretical syntax (how are sentence structures derived), and the interface between syntax and semantics (how do we interpret those structures. I am particularly interested in questions centred around whether or not semantics can constrain syntax within a parallel architecture such as Synchronous Tree Adjoining Grammar, rather than having semantics follow from syntax as in more mainstream theories like Minimalsim, though I work in both frameworks. I have also done extensive work on the interpretation of pronouns, investigating what factors beyond syntactic structure can constrain the meaning of potentially ambiguous sentences. While my research uses tools such as corpus research and experimental methods, the ultimate questions and the data collected are all applied back to issues of syntactic theory and the formal representation of linguistic structure.
My primary research area is phonology, that is, how speakers organize speech sounds. By investigating how speakers manipulate phonological information such as articulation, voicing, pitch and stress, especially in very different languages, we can learn much about our unique faculty of language, hence about the human mind.
There is a rich linguistic heritage here in Western Canada. Neighbouring British Columbia is home to no less than thirty languages representing eight different language families or isolates. Through my teaching, research, consultation and training, I’ve had the privilege to learn and work with native speakers of most of these languages, and of many others (e.g. Musqueam, Michif, Dakota, Yatiì, etc.). I am interested in both the documentation and the revitalization of Indigenous languages.
For more information visit my website: https://www.ucalgary.ca/dflynn/
My main research interests include language development, the development of logical and pragmatic inference in children, and the psychology of language more generally. I investigate these topics using interdisciplinary research methods including tools drawn from theoretical linguistics and developmental psychology.
My main research areas are morphological theory and historical linguistics. I explore the structure of morphological systems, inflectional and word-formation paradigms and relation between the two. Productivity in word-formation, diachronic perspective on same, standardization and its effects on linguistic systems, particularly with respect to morphology and morphological, are, inter alia, some of the domains my research covers.
My main focus is phonology and phonetics. I am particularly interested in prosodic phenomena including the manifestation of stress and focus across languages and the acquisition of these patterns.
I am an Assistant Professor of Linguistics at the University of Calgary and a member of the Developmental Psycholinguistics Lab (University of Calgary), as well as the Stress Typologies Lab (University of Delaware).
For more information, you can visit my website.
My published research covers a variety of areas in linguistics but I am best known for research dealing with second language acquisition (SLA). Within SLA, I prefer to focus on making empirical discoveries but the goal is the development of an explanatory theory of second language acquisition. On the theory side of things, I have been working on something I have called (perhaps for worse rather than better) the Autonomous Induction Theory. On the empirical side of things, research has dealt with the effectiveness of feedback and correction on SLA, frequency, cognates, proper names, gender, segmentation, and word learning. Ultimately, however, at the right level of abstraction, it all has something to do with “input” to SLA and the psycholinguistic mechanisms which result in knowledge of language. It is this knowledge which permits us to hear specific kinds of vocal noises as speech sounds, words and sentences and also allows us to put our thoughts into linguistic behaviours (talk, acceptability judgements, recognising specific sounds as “words”, and so on).
I am first, last and always a linguist but I do not see SLA research as testing linguistic theories. I draw on linguistic theories to help define what I call the “micro-structure of particular learning problems”. We need linguistic theories to make sense of constructs like “input” or “the target language”. I consider myself to be a generativist but others might disagree since I have never been interested in orthodoxy or dogma. I am literate in a variety of approaches in syntax (MIT-style syntax from Syntactic Structures up to minimalism; Lexical Functional Grammar; Head Driven Phrase Structure Grammar; several functional approaches). These show up in my classes. I frame my own SLA stuff in Simpler Syntax terms.