Assistant Professor of Linguistics, Harvard University
Kevin M. Ryan is Assistant Professor of Linguistics specializing in phonology, which concerns the patterning of speech sounds and sound-related phenomena in human languages and verbal arts. His research seeks to model phonological distributions in corpora and in experimental data with a view to illuminating the underlying properties of the human language faculty. His 2011 UCLA dissertation, "Gradient weight in phonology," addresses the universal properties of weight scales (for example, a continuum of syllable weight is evident in the degrees to which different syllable types attract stress in a language such as English). Much of this research falls under what might be termed microprosody, concerning the metrical, rhythmic/timing, and pitch properties of syllables and other low-level prosodic structure. He has also published in morphology, particularly affix ordering and formal learnability.