Research

General areas: phonetics, phonology, psycholinguistics, second language acquisition, bilingualism, language contact.

Specific interests: cross-linguistic speech perception and production, bilingual phonological organization, second language phonology, heritage language phonology, first language attrition, contact-induced sound change.


Broadly speaking, my research seeks to understand how people produce and perceive the sounds of language. I am interested in the physical and psychological underpinnings of how they do this, in how individual speakers differ from each other, and especially in what happens when two languages come together in one speaker.

My current research investigates the cognitive organization of multiple phonological systems, especially the cross-language interactions that occur during second language learning and first language attrition. In particular, I examine the ways in which the processes of speech production and perception are shaped in adulthood by both canonical and non-canonical experiences with sounds in the native language (L1) and a second language (L2). Fundamentally cross-linguistic in nature, this research draws upon insights in linguistics, sociology, psychology, and cognitive neuroscience to shed light on how similar sounds in an L1 and L2 are receptively and actively distinguished, mentally represented with respect to each other, and continuously relearned with new linguistic experience.

A comprehensive list of publications (linked to downloadable PDFs) that have come out of this work can be found here; links to unpublished work can be found here. Summaries of some of my recent and ongoing projects can be found using the drop-down menu.

Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Boston University