My pre-linguistic life revolved around Russian literature, and my MA thesis (University of London) was on Nabokov's Ada. It was during this time that I disovered computing through the Prolog language. I then went to the University of Surrey to take up a research position working with Grev Corbett on a project on the computational description of Russian morphology, leading to an interest in morphology more generally, and (of course) typology. While at Surrey I took a faculty position in the Department of Computing where I researched and taught computational linguistics and language engineering. In 2007 I arrived at UK to join the university's Linguistics Program.
Areas of specialty:
My main area of research is in morphology, including its interface with syntax and phonology, using the following methods:
- computational modelling of the lexicon and its interface with syntax
- using default reasoning as a way of capturing regularity, semi-regularity and exceptionality
- using frequency analysis as a way of modeling language use
- incorporating diachronic data into synchronic models
Linguistic phenomena that I have covered using these approaches are:
- grammatical number
- inflectional morphology
- basic color terms of the Slavonic languages
Current / recent courses:
- Analysis of English Syntax (LIN/ENG 512)
- Grammatical Typology (LIN/ANT 516)
- Historical Linguistics (LIN/ANT 519)
- Introduction to Linguistics (LIN/ENG 211)
- Introduction to Computational Linguistics (LIN 511)
- (with Matthew Baerman, Greville G. Corbett Dunstan Brown, eds). Deponency and morphological mismatches. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007.
- (with Dunstan Brown). Network Morphology: a defaults based theory of word structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
- (with Greg Stump) Cambridge Handbook of Morphology. Cambridge University Press. 2014. Podcast. Website.
- Valence sensitivity in Pamirian past-tense inflection: a realizational analysis. In: Agnes Korn, Pollet Samvelian Geoffrey Haig (eds), Topics in Iranian Linguistics. 103-116. Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2011. (with Greg Stump).
- A declarative approach to language change: regularization as realignment." Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. 261-275. Chicago:CLS, 2010. pdf
- "Morphological Typology." In Hogan, Patrick (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia for the Language Sciences. 515. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010. pdf
- "Paradigmatic realignment and morphological change: diachronic deponency in Network Morphology." In: Franz Rainer et al (eds) Variation and Change in Morphology. 107-127. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 2010. pdf
- "Lexical Analysis." In: Nitin Indurkhya and Frederick Damerau (eds) The Handbook of natural Language Processing, Second Edition. 31-57. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2010.
- (with Ian Davies Greville Corbett). "The basic colour terms of Lower Sorbian and Upper Sorbian and their typological relevance." 56-92. Studies in Language 32 (1), 2008. pdf
- "Declarative deponency." In Baerman et al. (eds.) Deponency and morphological mismatches. pp. 145-173. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007. pdf
- (with Matthew Baerman, Greville Corbett Dunstan Brown). The Surrey Deponency Database. 2006. Available at http://www.smg.surrey.ac.uk/Deponency/Deponency_home.htm
- (with Marina Chumakina, Greville Corbett Dunstan Brown). The Surrey Suppletion Database. 2004. Available at http://www.smg.surrey.ac.uk/Suppletion/index.aspx
- The Slavonic Colour Lexicon: digital recordings of Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian colour elicitation tasks. 2000. Hosted by the Max Plank Institute, available at http://corpus1.mpi.nl/ds/imdi_browser/?openpath=MPI318941%23
- Frequency and morphological analysis of the nouns in the 1 million-word Russian Uppsala Corpus. 1999. Available at http://www.surrey.ac.uk/LIS/SMG/rusnoms.xls
- Defaults in Morphological Theory. With my collaborator, Nik Gisborne, Edinburgh University, I organized a workshop on ways in which defaults and overrides have impacted morphological theory, particularly Construction Morphology, Paradigm Function Morphology and Network Morphology. The workshop attracted speakers from Europe and the USA; papers and video presentations can be viewed here.
- Network Morphology
With my collaborator Dunstan Brown, University of York, I have recently completed a monograph treatment of Network Morphology, a computable theory of morphology based on the notion of defaults. For a an overview and access to computable theories discussed in the book, click here.
- Eastern Iranian alignment
With Greg Stump, University of Kentucky, I have been working on alignment patterns in the Eastern Iranian languages, including Shughni, Pashto and Ossetic. They contain vestiges of split ergativity but to various degrees. We are organizing a workshop dedicated to this question but extending it beyond Iranian to Indic. It will be hosted by LSA's 2013 Linguistic Institute. More recently we have been looking at split ergativity phenomena in Mayan languages, in consultation with Rusty Barrett and Maria Garcia.