Earlier research projects

Persistence in language production

My dissertation and related research investigate the nature and conditioning of persistence effects in conversational speech. Persistence is the tendency to reuse a recently-used linguistic variant or structure. Persistence effects come in varying strengths, are sometimes asymmetric, and attach to linguistic structures in ways that I argue provide a window into the interaction of grammatical representation and the use of language in social contexts.

Sound change in Philadelphia

The multi-generational span of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Corpus (PNC) is a useful testing ground for claims about the role of frequency and social factors in sound change. My recent projects on this topic deal not only with well-known changes in Philadelphia vowel quality (with Hilary Prichard) but also with change over time in nasal coarticulation (with Georgia Zellou).

Dutch indefinite determiners

This project makes use of publicly-available Dutch dialect data from the Meertens Institute to investigate the interaction of phonology and morphology in the emergence of syncretism.

Phonological variation and change in Orkney

My undergraduate honors thesis was based on fieldwork I conducted in 2007 in Westray, Orkney, Scotland, supported by an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates grant. It deals with phonological variation under circumstances of rapid modernization and social change.

Regional variation in Canadian English

Under the auspices of the Phonetics of Canadian English project at McGill University, Emily Sadlier-Brown and I conducted sociolinguistic interviews in Vancouver and Halifax to investigate regional variation in the trajectory of the Canadian Shift.

The development of morphological processing

As a CLLRNet Third-Year Summer Research Assistant to Hélène Deacon in the Language and Literacy Lab at Dalhousie University, I worked on a project about how children learn to recognize different kinds of morphemes in written text.