My research focuses on language use in legal and institutional contexts, especially in the construction of consent and sexual violence, access to legal and health care resources, and the representation of multiply marginalized groups. My areas of research interest and specialization include:
- sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, contact linguistics, and their interfaces,
- corpus methods, variation, discourse analysis,
- identity and intersectionality in legal and institutional discourse, intercultural communication, public policy.
I examine how violence prevention texts and survivor support resources produced by institutions for the public define sexual consent and violence. I focus on how they use linguistic features -- such as presupposition, pronouns, and modal auxiliaries -- to project beliefs and experiences onto different target audiences.
More recently, I've also started working on minoritized and non-standard language varieties in legal contexts. My work triangulates quantitative and qualitative approaches, especially corpus approaches, variation analysis, and discourse analysis.
I direct the Sociolinguistics Lab at the University at Buffalo. Members of our lab work on language and identity, language contact and multilingualism, discourse and pragmatics, gesture, and sign languages. We meet weekly for presentations and workshops.
Making policy recommendations to improve violence prevention and survivor support programs is an important part of my work, and I welcome opportunities to engage with wider audiences within and beyond academia.
I love baking and windowsill gardening, and that's where I can usually be found when I'm not at work.