Representation at the Phonetics-Phonology Interface

Depending on the day, I’m a phonetician whose work bears on phonology, or a phonologist who draws from phonetic data. Either way, I’m interested in how units of language are represented, especially at the sub-segmental level.

Articulatory Phonology

Gestures and their relative timing offer a very powerful way to examine phonology. I am drawn to Articulatory Phonology as a way to systematically integrate phonological and phonetic patterns. My work uses this framework to understand the relationship among consonants, vowels, and tones.

Electromagnetic Articulography (EMA)

A picture of me with wires in my mouth for an experimentOne of my favorite experimental techniques, EMA provides a high degree of spatial and temporal precision of the movement of specific fleshpoints in the vocal tract. I first encountered EMA at Haskins Laboratories, and I joined my advisor Jason Shaw in setting up the EMA system at Yale’s Phonetics Lab, where I now work. Along with colleagues from the Yale Phonetics Lab, I have also helped consult with the EMA setup at the University of Delaware. EMA data features prominently in my dissertation and related research, where I have primarily used it to quantify the relative timing of vocal gestures. EMA features prominently in my dissertation and several papers and publications on my Publications page.

Language Change

A full understanding of any phenomenon requires both synchronic and diachronic accounts–how does it work, and how did it get to be that way? I’m interested in the many factors that influence language change, as well as the pathways of change themselves. This includes Tibetan tonogenesis and its role in the system of contrasts in the language, as well as the formation of new dialects and change in diaspora. My review of The Historical Phonology of Tibetan, Burmese, and Chinese by Nathan W. Hill (2019, Cambridge University Press) was published in Phonology 37(3) in 2020.

Tibetan and Himalayan Studies

While my research to date has focused on linguistics, I am also interested in the relationships between the findings of linguistic research and related fields, such as history and area studies. I have been involved in the Yale Himalaya Initiative and the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies.

Equity in Linguistics

While linguistics has come a long way in becoming an increasingly inclusive field, we still have a long way to go. Building on previous research, I am working with Hadas Kotek, Rikker Dockum, Sarah Babinski, and several undergraduate research assistants to track gender bias in example sentences in major linguistics journals. This poster and these slides summarize some results, and our paper has been accepted to Language!

Scholarly Teaching

Linguists have developed a range of useful teaching methodologies, largely independent from the broader community of research on teaching in higher education. As a teacher, I am interested in pedagogy research and developing tools and best practices for teaching linguistics. To this end, I am working toward the Certificate of College Teaching Preparation at Yale’s Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning, and I have joined the new Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group of the Linguistic Society of America.