About Me

Welcome! 어서오세요! Akwaaba!

I am a postdoctoral scholar, supported by the Georgetown Neuroscience of Language Training Program, working with Elissa Newport and Peter Turkeltaub. In Summer 2022, I completed my PhD in the Department of Linguistics at NYU working under Liina Pylkkänen‘s advisement.

What I find remarkable is how bilinguals can build and interpret phrases using elements from different languages. Even children who are learning two or more languages from birth seem able to compose mixed-language expressions with ease. I investigate the processing mechanisms which underlie our ability to compose words together as well as how we learn to compose across languages using both neuroimaging techniques (MEG, fMRI) and behavioral measures (eye-tracking, response times). The goal of this work is to further integrate neurobiological models and linguistic theory from a bilingual perspective.

Being Blasian (Black + Asian-American) also means that I did not see people who look or sound like me in academic spaces very often. Because of this, I am committed to putting linguistics and the neurobiology of language into public spaces. Most of this outreach has been with at-risk youth in the New York City area, talking about the functions and benefits of code-switching as well as the neurobiology of language. I have also appeared on several podcasts, including NPR’s Short Wave, and most recently assisted in the filming of the third documentary in the Talking Black in America Project series.

Read my recent Op-Ed for JoySauce on the costs of assimilation here.

Read my recent Q&A with Scientific American here.

I am also passionate about photography! You can see my general body of work here or of linguists here.