As a cognitive linguist I look at natural discourse – including speech and body movement – to explore the resources we recruit to make meaning and how these processes relate to how we think. I’m especially interested in how the verbal and body channels together express abstract conceptual notions – like event structure, stance, and negation. I work with multimodal corpus data, text corpora, 3D motion capture data, and experimental methods.
I’m very interested in applying this knowledge of humans in natural discourse to technical and social problems, including improving environments such as human interaction with avatars, the procedural generation of dialogue in video games, and applications in clinical situations. To this end I’ve worked in automated gesture recognition in collaboration with partners at the RWTH Aachen University, and am currently exploring other collaborations.
My paper on The Verbal-Kinesic Enactment of CONTRAST in NA English is available ahead of print in The American Journal of Semiotics double issue on Cognitive Semiotics (ed. Jamin Pelkey). See the preprint on my publications page. https://www.pdcnet.org/ajs/onlinefirst.
May 2018: I was honoured to be selected a Killam Laureate at the University of Alberta in 2018 and one of 4 winners of the Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize.