I am a fifth-year PhD student in the departments of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Linguistics at the University of Rochester, where I work primarily with Mike Tanenhaus and Florian Jaeger. I am a member of the Tanenhaus lab, Florian Jaeger's HLPlab, and the Experimental Semantics and Pragmatics reading group led by Christine Gunlogson (we now have a blog!).
ResearchMy research investigates pragmatic phenomena in both production and comprehension. Some specific projects are outlined below. You'll find project related papers, slides of talks, and posters in the publications section.
SCALAR IMPLICATURE PROCESSING
with Mike Tanenhaus
Comprehenders use information from multiple cues/constraints in the linguistic signal and the discourse context when incrementally constructing an interpretation of a given (often underspecified) utterance. We use eye-tracking and other behavioral measures to identify the cues that comprehenders are sensitive to in deriving scalar inferences from 'some' to 'not all'. The most recent papers can be found here and here.
with T. Florian Jaeger
Comprehenders' job is to infer the speaker's most likely intended meaning, given an utterance and the discourse context. Speakers could make this a really easy task if they spelled everything out - but they don't. How does the pressure to be a cooperative speaker (a good Gricean, if you will) on the one hand trade off with more low-level production pressures related to cognitive resource limitations and information-theoretically motivated robust communication pressures? We use corpus-based methods to investigate this question in the choice of simple vs. partitives 'some'.
LEXICAL ALTERNATIVES IN DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRAGMATIC PROCESSING
with Richard Breheny
This work extends the constraint-based approach to scalar implicature processing briefly outlined above. We investigate the effect of salient lexical alternatives to 'some' on the generation of quantity and manner based inferences. This work is supported by a EURO-XPRAG grant.
REASONING ABOUT REFERENTIAL EXPRESSIONS
with Michael Franke and Gerhard Jäger
In this line of work, speakers' choice of referential expression and hearers' interpretation thereof are modeled as the outcome of iterated best-response reasoning within a game-theoretic framework. We investigate the extent to which language users' choices are predicted by these models in behavioral experiments. This is the most recent paper. This work is supported by a EURO-XPRAG grant.