I am a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Linguistics at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. My research is centered around three ideas:

  • First, that meaning and usage are essential parts of language
  • Second, that computational models can encode and test linguistic theories
  • Third, that linguistics should be applied to practical problems

I have focused on the intersection of form, usage, and meaning: Construction Grammar, Dialectal Variation, and Metaphor. I describe this collection of work as computational cognitive linguistics because it uses computational modeling to formalize and test ideas from Cognitive Linguistics. On a practical level, my work provides models that can be used to annotate written corpora: Language Identification, Dialect Identification, and CxG Parsing.

I currently am working on global-scale dialectometry as the combination of grammar induction and geospatial text classification. The goal is to model regional syntactic variation so accurately that the model can be used to predict an individual’s region-of-origin.

For example, here is a paper that uses computational models to study the emergence of syntactic constraints. And here is a paper that models global syntactic variation in English.