My research uses computational and psycholinguistic methods to triangulate on a theory that can explain patterns of use and change in spoken language. I pursue an explanation based on the passive and powerful perceptual biases that surround language use, from communicative, cognitive, and social factors. My research program has two main threads: identifying the biases underlying spoken language perception, and understanding their implications for language use and change. Central to this program is computational cognitive modeling, which is supported by the first thread and enables the second. I motivate and ground computational cognitive models with psycholinguistic experiments, and I test their predictions with data-scientific analysis of corpora.
- Todd S., Pierrehumbert JB. and Hay J. (2019) Word frequency effects in sound change as a consequence of perceptual asymmetries: An exemplar-based model. Cognition 185: 1-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.01.004.
- Szmrecsanyi B., Grafmiller J., Bresnan J., Rosenbach A., Tagliamonte S. and Todd S. (2017) Spoken syntax in a comparative perspective: The dative and genitive alternation in varieties of English. Glossa: a journal of general linguistics 2(1): 86-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/gjgl.310.
- James A., Morison K. and Todd S. (2012) A mathematical model of the defence mechanism of a bombardier beetle. Journal of The Royal Society Interface 10(79) 20120801 http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2012.0801.
- Mengesha Z., Todd S. and Sumner M. (2019) Personae in Spreading Activation and False Memory. New York, NY: 93rd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, 4 Jul 2019.
- Todd S. (2019) Diagnosing Change in a Sparse, Bursty Variable: Eh in Pākehā English. Christchurch, New Zealand: Linguistic Society of New Zealand Conference, 28 Nov 2019.