I develop computational models of the lexicon with an emphasis on understanding its cognitive foundations. I am particularly interested in how word meanings are efficiently structured and extended over time, such that a potentially unbounded set of ideas may be expressed via compact lexicons in the world's languages. My approach combines rich empirical data with computational modeling drawn from machine learning and natural language processing, with the goal of constructing a human-level lexicon.I am interested in working with students who are knowledgeable and keen to explore the intersection of language, cognition and formal modeling of data. Please email me if you are interested.
- Xu, Y., Malt, B.C., and Srinivasan, M. (2017) Evolution of word meanings through metaphorical mapping: Systematicity over the past millennium. Cognitive Psychology, 96: 41-53.
- Regier, T. and Xu, Y. (2017) The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and inference under uncertainty. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, e1440.
- Xu, Y., Regier, T. and Newcombe, N.S. (2017) An adaptive cue combination model of human spatial reorientation. Cognition, 163: 56-66.
- Xu, Y., Regier, T. and Malt, B.C. (2016) Historical semantic chaining and efficient communication: The case of container names. Cognitive Science, 40(8): 2081-2094.
- Cibelli, E., Xu, Y., Austerweil, J.L., Griffiths, T.L., and Regier, T. (2016) The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and probabilistic inference: Evidence from the domain of color. PLOS ONE, 11(8): e0161521.