Richard Futrell


Hi. I am a Ph.D. student in Cognitive Science at MIT. My advisor is Ted Gibson. I got a BA and MA in Linguistics from Stanford University, where my advisor was Dan Jurafsky.

I'm interested in how language structure does and doesn't facilitate communication, and how the pressures of managing information transfer between speakers can explain cross-linguistic patterns in grammatical structure.

Can language be hard to process if it's too predictable? Read my Master's Thesis to find out!
Can grammatical gender be explained as a grammatical system for reducing the entropy of nouns? That's the topic of my Senior Thesis!

Here are some things I'm interested in:
* Grammatical gender and noun classifiers,
* The so-called Animacy Hierarchy,
* Variation, especially involving word order,
* Language change and grammaticalization,
* Models of language production,
* Almost everything else!

My languages of interest so far are Mandarin, German, and Hungarian.