Research areas: Syntax, Syntax-Semantics Interface, Morpho-syntax
Broad research interests: My research explores the morpho-syntactic properties of functional categories and their contribution to semantic (and pragmatic) interpretation.
Current research: 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.
Research areas: Phonetics
Broad research interests: 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.
Research areas: Syntax, Syntax-Semantics Interface, Experimental Syntax, TAG
Broad research interests: 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.
Research areas: Phonology, Indigenous Languages
Broad research interests: 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.
Research areas: Language Acquisition (Semantics/Pragmatics)
Broad research interests: 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.
Research areas: Morphology, Historical Linguistics
Broad research interests: 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.
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.
Research areas: Phonology, Phonetics, First (child) Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Experimental Methods, Typology
Broad research interests: I work on phonology and phonetics, with a primary interest in prosodic phenomena. The two main areas I focus on are prosodic development in children and prosodic typology, aiming to understand different aspects of prosodic systems across languages; both how they are structured and processed, and how they develop in children. The approach I take in both areas is what can be considered “laboratory phonology” – seeking to address fundamental phonological challenges on the basis of experimental research.
Current research: In my current SSHRC IDG grant with Dr. Suzanne Curtin (When a blue berry becomes a blueberry: Children’s development of the melodic differences between a phrase and a compound), we investigate children’s processing of compound and phrasal prosody in English with eye-tracking methodology and its connection with children’s production properties of these structures.