I am interested in the interaction of internal and external factors on language learning, production and processing, and how that interaction shapes trajectories of sound system change over time. As a model system, I focus on biases exerted by the lexicon on the phonological system.

Specifically, I investigate how apparent utterance-level biases supporting accurate, yet cost-effective communication of lexical information influence phonetic form, and how these consistent, usage-driven shifts in phonetic form shape the long-term evolution of the sound system.

To investigate linkages between usage and long term change, I use multiple complementary methodologies, including computational simulation, statistical studies of patterns in diachronic change, corpus studies of natural language usage, and laboratory experimentation.

Contact me at wedel@email.arizona.edu