My research focuses on phonology and its interfaces with phonetics and morphology.  Some recent projects include:

Bantu (morpho)phonology and phonetics

Bantu languages have a rich (morpho)phonology which holds potentially important insights for linguistic theory, however the basic description of these language is often underdeveloped.  My work in Bantu examines phonotactic generalizations about noun class morphology, the phonetic details of uncommon sounds (like Xitsonga's 'whistled' fricative <sw> and Xhosa's velar ejective affricate [k͡xʼ]), and incomplete neutralization in Xhosa labial palatalization.

▸ Representative talks and publications

Incomplete neutralization

Incomplete neutralization has been a sticking point in phonological theory because a phonetic contrast is maintained even in the absence of any phonological distinction.  I approach incomplete neutralization from both experimental/labphon and theoretical perspectives in order to uncover new cases of the phenomenon, and to provide a model of the phonetics/phonology interface that captures the major generalizations.

▸ Representative talks and publications

Emphatic lengthening

While vowel length contrasts are common cross-linguistically, this contrast is usually binary: long vs. short.  Many languages also employ a different sort of length contrast to express varying degrees of emphasis (e.g., "that lecture was so boring" vs. "that lecture was sooo boring").  My work on emphatic lengthening in English and Japanese shows that at least some speakers can make a six-level duration distinction—much more fine grained than the traditional lexical binary contrast.

▸ Representative talks and publications