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. For information about what’s happening in phonology, check out Phonolist. I also have an interest in broader cognitive science and its relation to research on language; see my collaborative work with Elliott Moreton and Katya Pertsova, and my Brain Wars project.

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 co-direct the UMass Computational Phonology lab with Gaja Jarosz and Kristine Yu. I’m also happy to be a part of the rapidly growing computational linguistics community at UMass.


I play, write and record music on an amateur basis. You can hear some of it on my SoundCloud page. And for fun here‘s the Cars “Just What I Needed” with some of the words replaced by ones taken from Alan Prince’s writings. I’ve also started dabbling in music pedagogy, with some materials on basics of (finger) drumming and rhythm.