Current/past research and research interests

My academic research focuses on a broad geographic stretch of the Eurasian continent, including a number of overlapping regions: Central Asia (stretching from Turkey in the west, to Eastern Türkistan in the southeast, and Siberia in the northeast; including related areas of Perso-Arabic speaking regions), the Sinosphere (China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Vietnam, Tibet, etc.), and Mainland Southeast Asia (starting from Manipur and Assam in the west all the way down into the Malay Peninsula in the east). Particular language families that I work with include Sinitic, Altaic (incl. Korean and Japanese), Tai-Kadai, and recently Hmong-Mien.

My personal academic interests can be found focused on the following categories/topics:

Theoretic interests lie primarily in phonetics/phonology and language change, mostly pertaining to suprasegmentals (tone and phonation), but not exclusively. Topics that have direct relevance to my research are:

current research

Of late, I have been kept busy with a number of projects:

Prior, I had been working on writing an unfinished term paper, my Qualifying Papers, and preparing for my dissertation research.

Examining Case, Number, and Possession: re-opening the trial of Uralic and Altaic morphotactics.
This paper examines the bi- and tri-suffixal orderings of number (Pl), case (Cx), and possession (Px) in Uralic and Altaic languages, where CxPx and PxCx contrast with regards to language sub-groupings *across* language family lines and Pl's position can either does not conform to expected universal positioning or can vary.
Telescoping the Tangkhul verb: Domains and aspects of scoping out aspectual scope and domain in Tangkhul Naga.(QP1)
This paper will further flesh out preliminary classroom fieldwork done in F2002-Sp2003 on the Serial Verbal Unit in Tangkhul Naga. Tangkhul Naga is a Tibeto-Burman language that is spoken in Manipur State (easternmost India, bordering Burma). Its verb-final verbal serialization for TAM (Tense-Aspect-Mood) is highly developed and behaves similar to, but not identical to, many other languages in the typological area.
Bringing the tone home: a perceptual investigation of the nativization process of tones in tonal languages.(QP2)
This paper (experiment in progress) will conduct a preliminary investigation into the "nativizing perception" of native and non-native tones by speakers of tonal languages, viz. Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, and Thai.

I had been working as a research assistant for my advisor, Prof. James A. Matisoff, at STEDT. Projects at the time include:

I was also working with two groups at ICSI:

  1. NTL group: with Nancy Chang (UCBerkeley:EE/ICSI:NTL), Eva Mok (UCBerkeley:EE/ICSI:NTL), Johno Bryant (UCBerkeley:EE/ICSI:NTL), and Vanessa Micelli (Universität Heidelberg) on AI learning and parsing of motion events in child directed speech in English, Mandarin, and German.
  2. Speech group: working under Barbara Peskin's direction as on-site coordinator for the LDC (UPennn)'s Mixer Project; soon to start working with Chuck Wooters on a neural net for identifying (Mandarin) tone in recorded data; and with LIU Yang on revising metadata annotation schema for transcribed conversational speech data.

past research

Past papers (to be placed in the "Papers" section of my research) have included:

other interests

In my spare time (read: when I want to procrastinate), I often spend my time working on: