I am an ICREA Research Professor in the Department of Translation and Language Sciences of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, where I head the Computational Linguistics and Linguistic Theory (COLT) research group. I previously held post-doctoral positions at the Department of Linguistics of The University of Texas at Austin and the CIMEC Center for Brain/Mind Sciences of the University of Trento; before that, I graduated in Spanish Philology at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and obtained my PhD at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. I am currently funded by an ERC Starting Grant.
I want to understand how language works; in particular, how humans convey meaning through language. I address this research question from an interdisciplinary perspective, integrating methodologies from Linguistics and Artificial Intelligence; in a nutshell, I do Data Science for Linguistics.
My research has recently focused on how we refer to objects, with a greater focus on those presented visually (in images). The challenge there is that we have a vast lexicon to choose from, and we may choose different expressions for the same object, for instance "the dog" or "the chihuahua". Our results suggest that, on the one hand, people are remarkably consistent in the expressions they choose, and on the other, there is systematic variation. Further characterizing this consistency and this variation will be our next step, in particular the interaction between the visual properties of both the object and its context with the linguistic system.