I work on language change and language documentation, broadly construed. Within language documentation, I combine fieldwork with research on archival materials in all areas of language. On the historical linguistics and language change side, my work includes traditional comparative method reconstruction, work that quantifies the results of comparative method reconstructions, and phylogenetics (computational historical linguistics using trees). I do modeling and empirical work on ancestral state reconstruction, phylogeography (language change in space), and the like. I also collaborate with colleagues on work on cultural evolution.
It’s important to me that my work be accessible to the wider scientific community and to the communities whose languages I work with. To that end, I write periodically about language and prehistory in The Conversation. Current research in this area includes work on speech to text and forced alignment applications for language documentation, using (amongst other approaches) Persephone. Here’s an only slightly out of date research statement, which gives a sense of what I’ve done, what I do, and why I do it.
I maintain the Chirila database of Australian languages, and much of my research is based on it. Papers of mine can be found on this site under the publications link. My full CV is here in PDF, and my Google Scholar profile has links to most of my papers.
I moderate the HISTLING-L mailing list. If you’d like to join the list, go to this page and fill out the form.
Other information from various older projects are archived here:
For 2017-2020, I’m also Chair of Yale’s Women Faculty Forum, a group that works on research, policy, and community events on campus. This involves doing research on gender in higher education (e.g. analyses of the Title IX cases brought to the university).