I am an Associate Professor and Graduate Chair in the Department of Second Language Studies at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and I currently serve as an Associate Editor for Language Learning. My research investigates how language users of all kinds – adults and children, monolingual and bilingual - process and acquire structural aspects of language (aka grammar). I am particularly interested in how we integrate information from various linguistic (e.g., phonological, syntactic, semantic) and non-linguistic (e.g., event structure, visual information) sources, how we do so as quickly and successfully as we typically do in everyday communication, and how this ability develops over time in various language learners.
I have been a linguist since my preschool days in Switzerland, when I pondered the difference in vowel quality in the Swiss-German word for 'chimney' as pronounced by my mother (/xæmi/), my father (/xœmi/), and my grandmother (/xemi/). After obtaining a lic. phil. I degree in Anglistik and Germanistik from the University of Zürich, I went to McGill University in Montreal (Canada) to get a PhD in Linguistics, followed by postdoctoral work at the University of Montreal. After further postdoctoral work at the Center for Infant Studies at Stanford University, I arrived in Hawai'i in 2011.
If you would like to talk to me about my research, your research, a class I teach, or take me out for (good) coffee, come and find me in Moore Hall, rm 404 (if I am not in my home office, pictured below).