Richard Futrell

厦门


Hi. I am a Ph.D. student in Cognitive Science at MIT. My advisors are Ted Gibson and Roger Levy. I'm interested in explaining linguistic universals and variation in terms of facilitating efficient and robust communication. I also do Bayesian modeling and NLP.

Here is a statement about my research. Here is my PhD thesis!

Papers

Melody Dye, Petar Milin, Richard Futrell, and Michael Ramscar. 2017. Cute little puppies and nice cold beers: An information theoretic analysis of prenominal adjectives. Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, London, UK. Winner of the Marr Prize for Best Student Paper.

Richard Futrell and Roger Levy. 2017. Noisy-context surprisal as a human sentence processing cost model. In Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers, pages 688–698. Valencia, Spain. [code]

Richard Futrell, Adam Albright, Peter Graff, and Timothy J. O'Donnell. In press. A generative model of phonotactics. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics 5: 73–86.

Melody Dye, Petar Milin, Richard Futrell, and Michael Ramscar. 2017. A functional theory of gender paradigms. In F. Kiefer, J.P. Blevins, & H. Bartos (Eds.) Perspectives on Morphological Organization: Data and Analyses. Brill: Leiden.

Edward Gibson, Caitlin Tan, Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, Lars Konieczny, Barbara Hemforth, and Evelina Fedorenko. 2017. Don't underestimate the benefits of being misunderstood. Psychological Science: 1–10.

Cory Shain, Marten van Schijndel, Richard Futrell, Edward Gibson, and William Schuler. 2016. Memory access during incremental sentence processing causes reading time latency. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Linguistic Complexity (CL4LC), pages 49–58.

Kyle Mahowald, Ariel James, Richard Futrell, and Edward Gibson. 2016. A meta-analysis of syntactic priming in language production. Journal of Memory and Language 91: 5–27.

Richard Futrell, Laura Stearns, Daniel L. Everett, Steven T. Piantadosi and Edward Gibson. 2016. A corpus investigation of syntactic embedding in Pirahã. PLOS ONE 11(3): e0145289. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145289 [version with better formatting of glosses] [the corpus]

Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2015. Large-scale evidence of dependency length minimization in 37 languages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(33): 10336–10341. [some popular press] [two responses] [our response] [code]

Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2015. Quantifying word order freedom in dependency corpora. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Dependency Linguistics (Depling 2015), pages 91–100.

Richard Futrell and Edward Gibson. 2015. Experiments with generative models for dependency tree linearization. In Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 1978–1983.

Richard Futrell, Tina Hickey, Aldrin Lee, Eunice Lim, Elena Luchkina, and Edward Gibson. 2015. Cross-linguistic gestures reflect typological universals: A subject-initial, verb-final bias in speakers of diverse languages. Cognition 136: 215–221.

Stephanie Shih, Jason Grafmiller, Richard Futrell, and Joan Bresnan. 2015. Rhythm's role in the genitive construction choice in spoken English. In R. Vogel and R. van de Vijver (eds). Rhythm in Cognition and Grammar: A Germanic Perspective. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton. 207–234.

Theses

Memory and Locality in Natural Language. 2017. MIT. PhD thesis with Ted Gibson and Roger Levy.

Processing Effects of the Expectation of Informativity. 2012. Stanford University. Master's thesis with Hannah Rohde and Dan Jurafsky.

German Grammatical Gender as a Nominal Protection Device. 2010. Stanford University. Senior thesis with Dan Jurafsky and Michael Ramscar.

Presentations

(* = presented in person)

* Richard Futrell. 2017. Information locality in natural language. Lightning talk at the Workshop on Executive Functions and Language Processing, MIT, 5/25/2017. [Video of talk]

* Richard Futrell and Roger Levy. 2017. Noisy-context surprisal as a human sentence processing cost model. Talk at CUNY 2017, 3/30/2017. [Video of talk]

Cory Shain, Marten van Schijndel, Richard Futrell, Edward Gibson, and William Schuler. Retrieving structures from memory causes difficulty during incremental processing. Talk at CUNY 2017, 4/1/2017. [Video of talk]

* Richard Futrell. 2017. Comment on Semantic Typology and Efficient Communication. Commentary on Terry Regier's talk at the Pre-CUNY Workshop "Searching for cognitive universals: evidence from remote societies", 3/29/2017. [Video of talk]

* Richard Futrell. 2017. Memory and Locality in Natural Language. UC Irvine Language Sciences Colloquium, 2/6/2017.

* Richard Futrell. 2016. Memory and Locality in Natural Language. MIT CogLunch, 11/8/2017.

* Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2016. Crosslinguistic investigations in quantitative syntax: Dependency length and beyond. Talk at Edinburgh Center for Language Evolution.

Kyle Mahowald, Ariel James, Richard Futrell, and Edward Gibson. 2016. A meta-analysis of syntactic priming. Talk at CUNY 2016.

* Richard Futrell, Adam Albright, Peter Graff, and Timothy J O'Donnell. 2016. Subsegmental structure facilitates learning of phonotactic distributions. Presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Washington, D.C.

Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2014. CLIQS: Crosslinguistic Investigations in Quantitative Syntax. Poster presented at AMLaP 2014.

* Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, Steve Piantadosi, and Edward Gibson. 2014. Efficient Communication Forwards and Backwards. Poster presented at CUNY 2014.

* Richard Futrell, Tina Hickey, Aldrin Lee, Eunice Lim, Elena Luchkina, and Edward Gibson. 2014. Cross-linguistic gestures reflect typological universals: A subject-initial, verb-final bias in speakers of diverse languages. Talk at CUNY 2014.

* Richard Futrell and Hannah Rohde. 2012. Expecting the unexpected: how discourse expectations can reverse predictability effects in reading time. Poster presented at CUNY 2012.

* Richard Futrell and Michael Ramscar. 2012. German grammatical gender contributes to communicative efficiency. Presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Portland.

* Richard Futrell and Michael Ramscar. 2011. German grammatical gender manages nominal entropy. Poster presented at the Workshop on Information-Theoretic Approaches to Linguistics, July, University of Colorado, Boulder.

* Michael Ramscar and Richard Futrell. 2011. The predictive function of prenominal adjectives. Poster presented at the Workshop on Information-Theoretic Approaches to Linguistics, July, University of Colorado, Boulder.

* Stephanie Shih, Jason Grafmiller, Richard Futrell, and Joan Bresnan. 2009. Rhythm's role in the genitive construction choice in spoken English. 31st Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Sprachwissenschaft: Rhythm beyond the word. Osnabruck, Germany.

Laura Staum Casasanto, Richard Futrell, and Ivan A. Sag. 2009. Parallels between production and comprehension of multiple that: What's good for the goose... Poster presented at the 22nd Annual CUNY Conference on Sentence Processing. March. UC Davis.

Laura Staum Casasanto, Richard Futrell, and Ivan A. Sag. 2008. Extra complementizers increase syntactic predictability. Poster presented at the 14th Annual Conference on Architectures and Mechanisms for Language Processing. Cambridge, UK.

Manuscripts

Richard Futrell and Sam Bowman. 2012. Measuring Amok. Term paper for Stanford CS224U: Natural Language Understanding.

Richard Futrell. 2012. And the Context Shall Make You Free: Bleaching as Blocking in a Discrimination Learning Model of Grammaticalization in the Critical Context. Term paper for Elizabeth Traugott's class on Constructionalization.

Richard Futrell. 2010. Predicting Gaps: Exploring Distributional Explanations for the Accessibility Hierarchy. Term paper.