I work on phonology (the sound systems of language) and on the acquisition of phonology. My current research focuses on the use of weighted constraints for the modeling of phonology and its learning, and is supported by an NSF grant held with John McCarthy.
I’m Professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. With Lisa Sanders, I co-direct the Cognitive Science Initiative, which brings together faculty and students from across the UMass campus.
I am currently on sabbatical in France, where I am affiliated with the Laboratoire de Sciences Cognitives et Psycholinguistique. My stay there is being hosted by Sharon Peperkamp, and is supported by a Research in Paris fellowship from the city of Paris. Along with my academic work, I wrote a short piece called “Understanding Charlie Hebdo” that some North Americans have told me is useful for understanding the significance of the events of Jan. 7th for the French.
I also play, write and record music. You can hear some of it on my SoundCloud page.