Research

My general research interest can be generally divided into 2 themes: efficiency and degree of influence. This section will expand as time progresses.

  1. How efficient is each of the writing systems in the world?

A considerable amount of information is exchanged in the form of written scripts in the modern world. Apart from the Latin script being used right now, there are also other varieties of written scripts, most of which can be placed into 5 categories: abjad, abugida, alphabet (where Latin script belongs), syllabary, and logo-syllabary. I’m interested in investigating how different the ways of conveying information are in each of these categories, and given the characteristics of a language, whether and how the efficiency of information exchange can be maximized.

  1. To what extent do external factors foster language change?

It’s commonly accepted that languages change due to forces related to languages themselves, such as language contact and language learning. However, recent studies have suggested that external, non-linguistic factors can also influence the way people speak. Some of these factors were proposed decades ago but subject to criticism. With easier access to a vast amount of data and the advance of computational power, these underlying correlations are gradually being unveiled. I’m interested in 1) exploring other possible factors that can affect language usage; and 2) investigating whether previously-held beliefs can also hold in non-WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, Democratic) populations.