Research Areas

  • Computational language evolution (CompLingEvo) Led by Professor Frederik Hartmann, this lab is concerned with investigating the causes and effects of linguistic change with computational methods. Neural network approaches as well as inferential modelling can yield insights into why languages diversify over time and what the pathways of change are. The primary goal of research in this lab is to combine novel methods with data from both ancient and modern sources to study the effect of cognition, society, and historical developments on language change

Application of computational approaches such as Neural networks and Bayesian methods to language evolution have become increasingly popular over the last few years. In our research, we focus on development and understanding these methods as applied to historical data of languages. An example is the paper on prediction of modern Indo-Aryan languages' word forms from Sanskrit (the common ancestor of the Indo-Aryan languages) published with Association for Computational Linguistics based on word shape and meaning information. Another paper focused on testing if automated cognate detection techniques are useful for phylogenetic inference. We find that automated cognate detection techniques can be useful for inferring family trees that are agreeable with those proposed in historical linguistics
Disentangling dialects: a neural approach to Indo-Aryan historical phonology and subgrouping
Are Automatic Methods for Cognate Detection Good Enough for Phylogenetic Reconstruction in Historical Linguistics?

  • Second Language Acquisition Group (SLA Group):  Led by Professor Xian Zhang, this research group the SLA group engages international and UNT undergraduate and graduate students to study second language acquisition. We are particularly interested in applying various approaches (e.g., experimental, meta-analysis, fMRI) to understand and enhance second language acquisition. We also conduct research to test SLA theories. Some recent topics include second language vocabulary knowledge, foreign language anxiety,  and embodied cognition. 
  • Computational Resource for South Asian Languages (CoRSAL):  Led by Professor Shobhana Chellia of Indiana University and Professor Sadaf Munshi of UNT, the Computational Resource for South Asian Languages (CoRSAL) is a digital archive for source audio, video, and text on the minority languages of South Asia. 

    The aims of the Computational Resource for South Asian Languages research group are: 
    • To engage with linguists and community language documenters to create an archive of connected speech represented through audio/video/and analyzed and annotated text. Visit the archive.
    • To create curriculum and provide the training in support of the documentation, description, and archiving of South Asian languages. View curriculum.
    • To encourage the creation of annotated corpora that allow for cross-language comparison and innovative data mining methods across these corpora. Explore the Differential Marking project.
    • Annual meetings for planning and exploring. See news of previous and upcoming meetings.
  • Language Documentation, Description, and Pedagogy
  • Linguistically Underserved Communities and Health
  • Language Endangerment and Political Violence
    Political instability and violence create an environment for language loss and resulting in social instability. The Political Instability and Language Endangerment (LEPI) research track began with a conference and workshops to develop a thorough understanding of how political instability and violence break apart communities and erode their ability to pass down their written and spoken word.  Access links to LEPI meetings.
  • The Language of Sexual Violence