My research focuses on the representation of linguistic knowledge and the architecture and dynamics of the cognitive systems which contain that knowledge. In addition, I am interested in the real-time utilization of linguistic and non-linguistic information during the processes of language production and comprehension. My primary research program examines the architecture and dynamics of the mental lexicon. A closely related secondary program investigates interfaces between systems within the language faculty and between linguistic and non-linguistic systems. This research relies heavily upon the application of experimental, statistical and computational methods to linguistic data and linguistic theory.
The broad goal of this program is to enrich formal linguistic theory by providing concrete implementations of theoretical constructs, enhance the computational, experimental and statistical tools used in language research, and contribute to the development of applications of linguistic data. In a more narrow sense, my research also seeks to provide concrete empirical models of lexical space, lexical representation and the interactions between linguistic representations, linguistic behavior and other cognitive systems.
I am particularly interested in the processing and representation of idiomatic expressions, metaphor and other forms of non-literal and/or non-compositional language. From an experimental perspective I find these types of language fascinating and valuable tools to explore how linguistic knowledge is structured. From an applied perspective, idiom and metaphor are notoriously difficult for NLP systems to interpret correctly, and believe a concrete understanding of how humans navigate these expressions will help in the development of better systems.