Papers My main research interest is the
interaction of abstract phonological structure with the direction of
phonetic and phonological change, and how that interaction is manifested
in dialect variation. My Ph.D. is from the Linguistics department at U.Penn;
the title of my dissertation is Dialect Boundaries
and Phonological Change in Upstate New York. (If you don't feel
like reading the whole dissertation, this
handout hits most of the main points; or you could just read the abstract. If you'd prefer to read it in a
more oddball format, here's the double-dactyl
version and the version using only the
top 1000 most common English words.)
Here's links to most of my research (you can also read my full CV):
Dialects of Upstate New York
- Phonological Transfer as a Forerunner of Merger in Upstate New
- Linguistic and Non-Linguistic Regions in Perceptual Dialectology.
- Settlement Patterns and the Eastern Boundary of the Northern Cities Shift.
- Cooperstown, New York as a Site of New-Dialect Formation.
- Weakening Resistance: Progress Toward
the Low Back Merger in New York State.
Paper (PDF) published in Language
Variation and Change 23.3:315–345 (2011).
- Working paper
published in Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 15.2, 60–69 (2010).
- Talk presented at NWAV 37, Houston, November 2008. Handout (PDF).
- Nasal Short-a Systems vs. the Northern Cities Shift.
- Paper published
in Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 17.2, 71–80 (2011).
Talk presented at NWAV 39,
San Antonio, Tex., November 2010. Handout
Eleméntàry Linguistic Definition of Upstate New York
(with Keelan Evanini).
- Paper published
in Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 16.2, 36–45 (2010).
- Talk presented at NWAV 38, Ottawa,
October 2009. Handout (PDF).
- The Present-Day Dialectological Status of the Hudson Valley.
- Transmission or Diffusion?: NYC-like Short A in Southeast
Florida and the Hudson Valley (with Michael Friesner).
Deconstructing the Linguistic Variable
- Variant-Centered Variation and the Like Conspiracy.
- Is Like Like Like?: Evaluating the Same Variant Across Multiple Variables (with Ruth Maddeaux).
Phonological Structure of Vowel Shifts and Mergers
What's Really Happening to Short A Before L in Philadelphia?
Toward a Unified Theory of Chain Shifting.
Nasal Short-a Systems vs. the Northern Cities Shift.
Real Effect of Word Frequency on Phonetic Variation.
Unnatural Classes and Phonological Generalization in Dialect
Mary, Darling, Make Me Merry; Say You'll Marry Me: Tense-Lax
Neutralization in the Linguistic Atlas of New England.
- Paper (PDF)
published in Penn Working Papers in Linguistics 11.2.73–90 (2005).
- Marry-Merry-Mary Merger in New England: Further
Analysis. Talk presented at Methods in Dialectology XII, Moncton, N.B., August 2005.
- Mary, Darling, Make Me Merry; Say You'll Marry Me: Tense-Lax
Neutralization in the Linguistic Atlas of New England. Poster presented at NWAV 33, Ann Arbor, Mich., October
Dialect Contact and Diffusion
- A Phonological Variable in a Textual Medium: (ing) in Online Chat.
- An Experimental Study on the
Interpretability of Ostensible Subject-Control Promise.
- "Sporadic" Syncope and Latin Phonology's Wicked Stepmother.
- Talk presented at Penn Linguistics Colloquium 30, Philadelphia, February
2006. Abstract (PDF).
My Erdős number is 4:
Erdős & Chvátal (1972); Chvatal & Sankoff (1975); Sankoff &
Labov (1979); Labov, Baranowski, & Dinkin (2010).
Puzzles I was a member of the
organizing teams for the 2006 and 2011 MIT Mystery Hunts, and have occasionally contributed puzzles to other events as well.
The full list of puzzles I've written or co-written is available here. Contributions (as author or co-author) of which I'm particularly
proud include the following:
I occasionally write double-dactyls. One time I
made people write
In grad school I did way more on-campus theatre than any grad student legitimately has
time for (mostly with the
Underground Shakespeare Company and Penn Players). Shows I was in at Penn include, but are not limited to:
12 Angry Men, the Penn Theatre Arts
Council's Small Fall show
The Tempest with Underground Shakespeare
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown with Stimulus Children's
A Midsummer Night's Dream with Underground Shakespeare
King Lear with Underground Shakespeare
Into the Woods with the Penn Law School
Light Opera Company
Metamorphoses with iNtuitons
in the Dark with the Penn Theatre Arts Program
Annie Get Your Gun with Penn Players
The Real Inspector Hound, a Small Fall show
Reckless with Penn Players
The Merchant of Venice with Underground Shakespeare
Elsinore! with iNtuitons
Prior to Penn, I music-directed Songs for a New
World at MIT and vocal-directed Les
roommate Peter's masterpiece, at Harvard. Before that, I was music
director of the Harvard
Noteables, sine quibus non.
If you want a more detailed list of shows I've done, look here.
my office: Sidney Smith Hall 4089, University of Toronto