My research revolves around the questions why are languages the way they are, and how do they become that way? As such, I am interested in empirical approaches to explanations for linguistic diversity, and have increasingly come to conduct research in the framework that has come to be called Distributional Typology, which asks "what's where why (when)?" Ongoing projects include (i) the phonological typology of Eurasia, with a focus on the areal typology of sound change, (ii) the typology of contact-induced change, mainly in the domains of valency and transitivity, verb alternations, adpositions and case markers, and sound change; (iii) empirical approaches to semantic change, including distributional semantic analysis; and (iv) multivariate analysis of incorporation. I also work on (or have worked on) the description of Ancient Egyptian-Coptic, Nuer, Spanish, Minangkabau, and Modern Hebrew.
At the Hebrew University, I serve as coordinator of the Functional Linguistics track of the Department of Linguistics, and am a member of the Logic, Language and Cognition Center and the head of the Dynamics of Language Lab. Graduate students who belong to this lab work on Quechuan, German language islands, Yiddish, the computational analysis of semantic change in massive corpora, the processing of intonational units, and experimental studies of cognitive biases that may be causal factors in typological distributions.