I was accepted into the external PhD programme at the University of Essex but took a leave of absence to found Eldarion.

In 1996, I graduated from The University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) double-majoring in Linguistics.

My areas of interest within linguistics include:

For some fun, see my occasional linguistic observations.

A Bit of Autobiography

A number of things happened in my childhood, all roughly around the age of twelve, that lay the foundation for my interest in linguistics.

In 1985, I was in my final year of primary school in Brunei. English lessons largely involved working individually from a series of textbooks, I believe by Ronald Ridout. I was the only one in the small class who had made it to Book 8 and I recall it seemed to take a more systematic approach to language than previous books and taught things like the International Phonetic Alphabet.

That same year, I received for my birthday Tolkien's Return of the King (I had been a huge fan of The Hobbit). Not having read the first two parts of Lord of the Rings, I was reluctant to start reading the main text of RotK so, instead, spent time studying the appendices and, in particular, the Tengwar alphabet and how it related to the phonetics I had learn from my English textbook.

In 1986, my first year of high-school, which I undertook via correspondence, I studied Latin and developed a fascination with its inflectional morphology.

Around the same time, I was playing text-based adventure games on the computer where you would indicate what you wanted to do with simple English sentences. This got me interested in Natural Language Processing, particularly as I immediately aspired to write my own adventure games. In my research into what was involved, I came across such terms as "lexicon" and "parser" for the first time.

For a few years my focus shifted more to other aspects of computers and to theoretical physics. In my final years of high-school I did make a start on a constructed language with my best friend. One notable characteristic was that it had both a written alphabet and a signed alphabet, both based on one another and both logically tied to the phonemic inventory (e.g. voicing was consistently indicated in the same manner). We didn't get much further than the alphabets and phonemes, though.

Between high-school and university, I became a Christian and, although I started off studying mathematics and physics, I quickly developed an interest in the application of computational linguistics to understanding the Greek New Testament. My goal was to syntactically parse the entire Greek New Testament so I spend my spare time learning about parsing technologies.

Then, mid-way through 1992, at a point where I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable with my choice of major, I made the decision to shift my studies to linguistics.

Pages in this category

Posted May 22, 2005; Updated Sept. 11, 2007
Syntax by any other name
Posted May 28, 2005
Linguistic Observations
Posted July 22, 2005
Keep the Academic Writing Samples Simple, Stupid
Posted Oct. 16, 2005
Why the Q in IRAQ?
Posted Nov. 3, 2005
Dynamic Interlinears with Javascript and CSS
Posted Jan. 28, 2006
Accepted into PhD Programme at Essex
Posted March 14, 2006
Update: PhD
Posted July 1, 2006
Back from ALI and COLING-ACL
Posted July 24, 2006
Speech Accent Archive
Posted Aug. 25, 2007
Many Eyes on Greek Nominal Suffixes
Posted Sept. 11, 2007
A New Kind of Graded Reader
Posted Feb. 10, 2008; Updated March 22, 2008
Graded Reader Discussion and Code
Posted March 22, 2008
Grammar Rules
Posted May 1, 2008
On Intelligence and the HTM Workshop
Posted July 5, 2008; Updated July 6, 2008
Conference Time
Posted Feb. 5, 2010
Open Source Project: parse-helper.js
Posted July 20, 2010
Rebasing MorphGNT off SBLGNT
Posted Jan. 18, 2011