Research interests

My general research interests lie in the fields of morphology and morphosyntax, linguistic typology, and cognitive science. My work integrates the development and use of computational and quantitative methods.

I am interested in the degree of internal cohesion within morphological systems as well as in the role of morphology and morphological units within the broader linguistic system. My approach is at the same time typological, formal and quantitative. It focuses specifically on system-level patterns of morphological organisation and their consequences for cognitive processing and development, as well as for diachronic change. Phenomena under investigation principally involve the distribution and sharing of linguistic information between morphology and its interfaces, issues that arise in segmentation and in the definition of morphological units, and those that arise in identifying the descriptive features best suited for describing morphological systems. I am especially interested in constraints and distributions of gradient patterns and ‘optional’ units in natural language across various speaker populations.

I have also worked on structural complexity measures based on two complementary approaches. The first relies on implemented formal descriptions of morphological data and explicit metrics for evaluating descriptions. The second incorporates maximally atheoretic quantitative approaches that aim at directly extracting structural properties from raw data.

The typological perspective of my interests is reflected in the range of languages investigated, from Romance (Latin, French, Romansh), Semitic (Maltese), Western Iranian (Persian, Kurmanji Kurdish, Sorani Kurdish), Indo-Aryan (Hindi/Urdu, Sinhalese), Dravidian (Tamil), Kiranti (Khaling, Kulung, Limbu), and Cariban (Akawaio).