My research is at the intersection of linguistics, computation, and cognition.
I am a computational psycholinguist working on computational and algorithmic models of language acquisition and language processing. I use experimental methods ranging from eye-tracking and categorization to speech adaptation tasks. I also apply quantitative and statistical techniques to answer questions in theoretical linguistics.
My dissertation, The Immediacy of Linguistic Computation, explores the ramifications of the temporal restrictions inherent to information processing, with a particular emphasis on the intermediate representations constructed during online processing and their relationship to Input/Output mappings.
My secondary academic interests include (in alphabetical order): Chinese languages, cognitive neuroscience, cognitive psychology (attention, learning, memory, representation, you name it), formal language theory, language variation and change, NLP (both old-school and statistical), parsing, perception, phonology, and software engineering.
Contact me for my full CV, or feel free to reach out if there's more you want to know, data you can't find, code you can't get to run, or for general questions and discussion.
- Caplan, S., Hafri, A., & Trueswell, J.C. (2021) Now You Hear Me, Later You Don't: The Immediacy of Linguistic Computation and the Representation of Speech Psychological Science [pdf | osf]
- Caplan*, S., Kodner*, J., & Yang, C. (2020) Miller's monkey updated: Communicative efficiency and the statistics of words in natural language Cognition, 205, 104466. [pdf | source code | demo]
- Schuler, K., Kodner, J., & Caplan, S.. (2020) Abstractions are good for brains and machines: A commentary on Ambridge (2020) First Language, 40(5-6), 631-635. [pdf]
- Caplan, S. & Djärv, K. (2019) What usage can tell us about grammar: Embedded verb second in Scandinavian Glossa: A Journal of General Linguistics, 4(1), 101. [pdf | source code]
Under Review and In Prep
- Caplan, S. (in prep). The Incremental Mechanisms of Functional Design: Language Production and the Immediacy of Linguistic Computation.
- Caplan, S. & Trueswell, J.C., (in prep). Word learning, Selective Attention, and the Immediacy of Linguistic Computation.
- Caplan, S. (in prep). Word Learning as Category Formation. [email for preprint]
Presentations and Proceedings
- Caplan*, S., Kodner*, J., & Yang, C. Apparent Communicative Efficiency in the Lexicon is Emergent. SCiL 2021
- Caplan, S., Hafri, A., & Trueswell, J.C. Speech Processing does not Involve Acoustic Maintenance. CogSci 2019, Montreal, Canada
- Caplan, S. Syntactic "Optionality" Reflects Performance rather than Competence. GLOW 2019, Oslo, Norway
- Caplan, S. Incremental Generation Drives "Efficient" Language Production.
• CUNY 2019, Boulder, CO
• AMLaP 2018, Berlin, Germany
• Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning (MASC-SLL) 2018, Baltimore, MD
- Beser, D. & Caplan, S. Local Processes of Homophone Acquisition. SCiL 2019, New York, NY
- Caplan, S. Word Learning as Category Formation.
• CogSci 2018, Madison, WI
• SCiL 2018, Salt Lake City, UT
- Caplan, S. & Kodner, J. The Acquisition of Vowel Harmony from Simple Local Statistics. CogSci 2018, Madison, WI
- Caplan, S. Naive Generalization in Word Learning. Child Language Symposium (CLS) 2018, Reading, UK
- Caplan, S. & Djärv, K. Embedded-Verb Second is Anti-Licensed by Discourse Familiarity.
• Meaning in Flux 2017, Yale University, New Haven, CT
• Texas Linguistic Society 17, Austin, TX
• Mid-Atlantic Colloquium of Studies in Meaning 2017, Georgetown University, Washington D.C.
• SelectionFest 2017, Berlin, Germany
- Caplan, S. Mandarin "Descriptive Complements" are Adjuncts. Texas Linguistic Society 17, Austin, TX
- Caplan, S. & Kodner, J. Vowel Harmony as a Distributional Learning Problem. CogSci 2017, London, UK
- Caplan, S. & Djärv, K. Quantitative analysis of Formal and Stylistic variation in Embedded V2. FWAV 4, York, UK
- Kodner, J., Caplan, S., Xu, H., Marcus, M., & Yang, C. Case Studies in the Automatic Characterization of Grammars from Small Wordlists. ComputEL-2, Honolulu, HI
- Caplan, S. Morphological Typology Induction. DARPA LORELEI
- Caplan*, S. & Kodner*, J. A Computational Model of Vowel Harmony Acquisition. NECPhon10, Amherst, MA
- Caplan*, S. & Kodner*, J. Induction of a Morphological Feature Typology, Automatic Vowel Harmony Characterization, and Uyghur A-Raising. DARPA LORELEI
- Caplan, S. Fox, N., McClosky, D., & Charniak, E. Lexical Substitution for Cross-Domain Parser Adaptation. Undergraduate Thesis