Earlier research projects
Persistence in language production
My dissertation and related research investigate the nature and conditioning of persistence effects in conversational speech. Persistence is the tendency to reuse a recently-used linguistic variant or structure. Persistence effects come in varying strengths, are sometimes asymmetric, and attach to linguistic structures in ways that I argue provide a window into the interaction of grammatical representation and the use of language in social contexts.
Sound change in Philadelphia
The multi-generational span of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Corpus (PNC) is a useful testing ground for claims about the role of frequency and social factors in sound change. My recent projects on this topic deal not only with well-known changes in Philadelphia vowel quality (with Hilary Prichard) but also with change over time in nasal coarticulation (with Georgia Zellou).
Dutch indefinite determiners
Phonological variation and change in Orkney
My undergraduate honors thesis was based on fieldwork I conducted in 2007 in Westray, Orkney, Scotland, supported by an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates grant. It deals with phonological variation under circumstances of rapid modernization and social change.
Regional variation in Canadian English
Under the auspices of the Phonetics of Canadian English project at McGill University, Emily Sadlier-Brown and I conducted sociolinguistic interviews in Vancouver and Halifax to investigate regional variation in the trajectory of the Canadian Shift.