Alan C. L. Yu
Professor, Department of Linguistics
Dr. Alan Yu is interested in questions related to language variation and change, particularly with regard to the so-called actuation problem: what causes the inception of language change, if the linguistic conditions favoring particular changes are always present? He approaches this question from the point of view of individual differences, focusing particularly on how differences in the socio- and neuro-cognitive make-ups lead to variability in perceptual and production norms across individuals and how such variability relates to socio-indexical factors. He has done extensive work on Cantonese and Washo, a Native American language spoken in California and Nevada. In his spare time, he also works on the morphology-phonology interface, his first love in linguistics.