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Ph.D. Student
Office: SBS - N224
Dept. of Linguistics
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-4376
aniello.desanto[_at_]stonybrook.edu

CV

I am currently a third year Ph.D.student in the Linguistics Department at Stony Brook University and an affiliated student in the Institute for Advanced Computational Science (IACS). I am a member of the Computational Linguistics Lab and of the Experimental Linguistics Lab (el.lab). My advisor is Thomas Graf.

Research (in brief)

My research area lies at the intersection between mathematical linguistics, theoretical syntax and phonology, and computational psycho/neurolinguistics. Generally, I am intrigued by how insights from Math and Computer Science can help investigations in theoretical and experimental linguistics.

Research (less briefly)

On one side, I am interested in how notions from Formal Language Theory (e.g. complexity, leanability, generative power) can help shed light on structural and formal properties of Natural Language independent of framework-specific implementational details (e.g. new computational universals). In this sense, one recent interest of mine is in understanding the cognitive reality of the Chomsky (and Subregular) Hierarchy for different linguistics domains.

On the other side, I believe that a formal understanding of the computational requirements of the Language system can offer a solid theoretical support both to the design of new experiments in psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, and to the use of experimental results in discriminating between theoretical accounts of syntactic processing (e.g. reducing the complexity class of natural languages due to processing requirements). Following these ideas, I particularly value the use of Formal Grammars (e.g. MGs, TAG) for online sentence processing experiments.

On a separate note, I have been exploiting the idea of studying less known "dialects" of Italy to investigate problematic linguistics phenomena in Standard Italian. In particular, I have been working on the interaction between Raddoppiamento Sintattico and /sC/ clusters in the phonology of the Irpino Dialect (a southern Italian Dialect of the Neapolitan family). For this project, I recently received a small grant from the Stony Brook Center for Italian Studies.

Past Affiliations

In a previous life, I studied to become an Automation Engineer. I got my Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science from the University of Pavia (Italy), with a thesis on the identification of models for the automatic control of an Artificial Pancreas.

I then got a Master's Degree in Computer Science and Engineering (again from the University of Pavia), with a specialization in Automation and Complex System Theory. My Master's Thesis was partially written during a Research Internship in the Multimedia Systems Lab of the University of Naples "Federico II", where I developed a probabilistic framework for the detection of unexplained user behaviors in online social networks.

After my graduation I spent one year as a RA assistant at the University of Naples "Federico II", where I kept working on modeling Online Social Network's user interactions, and on NLP techniques applied to Healthcare systems.

Stony Brook Misc

Together with Alëna Aksënova, I am the student organizer of Stony Brook's Mathematical Linguistics Reading Group. This is an informal group that meets every week for about an hour to explore various ways in which mathematics informs our view of language and it is intended to be a multidisciplinary venue to discuss awesome research ideas. Topics we've covered in the past are model theoretic syntax, game theory, dynamic semantics, and modal logic. If you want to be added to our shared Google Drive, feel free to send me an email.

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