As I tell my students, I'm primarily interested in words, word bits, and word meanings. I use behavioral methods to gain insight into the makeup and entries of our lexicon(s?), as well as how we learn and process morphemes and their associated meanings. I'm particularly interested in Semitic morphology and how language contact, language dominance, and bilingualism influence morphosyntactic borrowing and learning.
In addition to my interests in lexical access, morphology, and lexical semantics, I have broad, related interests in first language development, adult second language acquisition, bilingualism, and language disorders.
During the spring of 2021, I was an Assistant Professor of Practice in the Department of Linguistics at Southern Illinois University - Carbondale. One of my graduate students there wrote a fabulous paper that was awarded the inaugural best department paper prize! For the 2019-2020 academic year, I was a visiting assistant professor of linguistics at Bucknell University. In addition to teaching, I carried out research in the Linguistics Lab (PI: Heidi Lorimor), which led to student Erin Liffiton ('20) and I receiving a research grant from FindingFive and QNTFY as well as giving a presentation at the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.
I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Linguistics at the University of Arizona. My dissertation examined whether differing levels of experience affects how people from different language backgrounds learn root-and-pattern morphology—does speaking Arabic or Maltese help? (Spoiler alert: it doesn't—but you produce different errors!) I'm still interested in how we learn language and how the languages that we speak affect each other.
I also conduct research on whether we can use machine learning to predict the form of a broken plural in Maltese, the effects of working memory on auditory L2 sentence comprehension, and whether the Distributed Morphology framework is a good model of language processing in addition to being a good model of offline grammar. You can read more about these projects on my Research page, and send me an email if you're interested in hearing more.