Lindis Pass, New Zealand


I'm a quantitative sociophonologist -- what does that mean? First, it means I study phonology (sounds!) - with a particular focus on phonological variation and change. I look at the sociolinguistic aspects of sound variation: how it is affected by the macrosocial (like how an entire city is changing its pronunciation over time) as well as the microsocial (like how certain sounds index a speaker as sounding "tough"). And the quantitative part? I use quantitative methods to analyze sociophonological variation. Here you can find a brief overview of some of the projects I'm working on. Click to find out more!


When a dialect undergoes phonological change, this results in a different cognitive representation of language - and yet not only are different generations able to understand each other, they often don't even realize a dramatic change has occurred!


When a child acquires language, part of the adult-like competency that they must learn is the variation present in their dialect, along with the subconscious social and grammatical constraints that govern that variation. How is it that children acquire this? Is one type of constraint easier to learn than the other?


When speakers from different dialect backgrounds interact with each other, it can lead to potential dialect change. This creates an ideal opportunity for researching how speakers adapt to one another and adopt features from other dialects.


Specific questions about sociophonology can best be answered by a variety of methodology. I use a diverse range of methodology, to best answer the theoretical questions I'm investigating, including large scale corpus data, ethnographic research, experimental methods, and computational simulations.