I am a cognitive-functional linguist with a background in discourse analysis and text linguistics. I am interested in the cognitive mechanisms that generate linguistic meanings, the ways linguistic meanings mediate our perceptions of the world and our impressions of one another, and how we might replicate these effects using artificial agents.
My current research investigates a characteristic known as discourse coherence, or how linguistic utterances bind together at varying levels and how this might be described. To describe this characteristic, I draw from cognitive linguistics, the cognitive and brain sciences, and the computer sciences to extend a formal Construction Grammar called Embodied Construction Grammar (ECG).
At present, I am developing a model designed to resolve a set of natural language problems known as the Winograd Schema Challenge. Resolving these problems is crucial to the development of machine learning and artificial general intelligence (AGI), as well as our understanding of the human mind.
I am also interested in exploring how constructionist approaches (or Construction Grammars) might address concerns in critical linguistics, and discourse and text analysis, particularly questions associated with linguistic mediation.
- Why do abstract agents, forces, and processes, such as an economic market, or a political idea, appear to ‘make sense’?
- What are the linguistic, conceptual, cognitive and neurological factors that contribute to the process(es) of sense-making?
- To what extent do the processes attributed to sense-making aid the social construction of everyday life?
- More crucially, to what extent can these questions be tested using experimental and computational methods?