Dept. of Linguistics
Email: [my first name].[my last name] --at-- gmail.com
my most recent resume/cv as: HTML ||| PDF
During the past few years I've been exposed to a lot of board games, and I recently bit the bullet and started building my own game library. So far it's just got Dominion and Phase 10, though, so feel free to recommend some of your favourites.
My research focuses on automatic text simplification, a problem at the nexus of semantics, natural language generation, and psycholinguistics. The ultimate goal is to produce a system which can (1) extract a semantic representation from natural text, (2) generate paraphrases from such a representation, and (3) rank paraphrases based upon psycholinguistically-motivated metrics of complexity.
My work in the past year has focused on evaluating the discriminative power of psycholinguistic metrics as opposed to tradional measures like word and sentence length. I'm now shifting from a focus on processing difficulty (basically, human parsing difficulty) to look at the literature on comprehension, as merely being able to read something faster is not necessarily a good measure of its comprehensibility.
In my assistantship I have been working with Michael White on the generation of contrastive expressions.
I'll be presenting our joint work at ENLG on August 8th—be sure to drop in and see the talk in you're interested and at ACL. The paper is:
David M. Howcroft, Crystal Nakatsu, and Michael White. 2013. "Enhancing the Expression of Contrast in the SPaRKy Restaurant Corpus". In Proceedings of the 14th European Workshop on Natural Language Generation. [PDF]
Cynthia A Johnson, Rachel Steindel Burdin, Rory Turnbull, and I are examining adjectival paradigms in Middle and New High German using measures of system entropy. For an overview of the project, you can check out our most recent handout (presented at GLAC).
So what is linguistics anyway? There are plenty of sources out there you can find to answer this question for yourself, but among the best breakdowns I've seen is this two-page introduction Basic Facts about Linguistics (PDF) written by one of our faculty at Ohio State, Carl Pollard.