I’m a PhD candidate in the Linguistics Department at UC Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis in Women and Gender Studies. My research focuses on the cognitive processes underlying sociolinguistic production and perception and the way people use language in understanding and constructing social identities. As a sociophonetician, I’m particularly interested in which phonetic features are used in presenting a particular persona, and which are meaningful for listeners judging their interlocutors.
In researching sociolinguistic cognition, I address questions of language use by incorporating concepts from social and cognitive psychology. I look at how different linguistic processes and behaviors are socially driven while others are psychologically based, and the ways the two interact. This includes work on the formation and performance of linguistic stereotypes, particularly as related to sexual orientation as a social identity. I also research accommodation, investigating which social and psychological forces drive individuals to converge or diverge in speech.
To provide further support and a place for sociophoneticians at UC Berkeley, I started the Sociophonetic Research Exchange and Discussion group in 2013. SPREAD meets every other week. Sociolinguists and phoneticians attend from multiple departments in the university. The meetings include both casual and more formal presentations of research by members and guests, as well as discussions of published work on topics of interest.