Current Team

Dr. Antti Arppe – Director

Antti is Associate Professor of Quantitative Linguistics at the
University of Alberta and founder of ALTLab. His research applies and develops statistical and computational methods, as well as corpora and language technology, in modeling linguistic phenomena, with an aim for cognitive plausibility, and contrasting evidence representing different modalities of language. Prior to his academic career, he worked in senior managerial positions for Lingsoft, a Finnish language technology company, responsible for proofing tools such as those that will be developed by ALTLab. In ALTLab, Antti is responsible for the overall planning and management of the project, and supervising both research and development of the computational linguistic models and subsequent applications for Plains Cree and other indigenous languages.

Atticus Harrigan – Lab Manager

Atticus is a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics
and Lab Manager (recording infrastructure). His interests include Native American languages, corpus linguistics, and computational methods for linguistic analysis. Theoretically he has an interest in cognitive grammar and its interface with morphosyntax and semantics. In working with the ALT lab, Atticus aids in recording, management of annotations, and principally develops the Plains Cree finite state machine that provides the backbone for the machine analysis and generation of Plains Cree.

Katie Schmirler – Lab Coordinator

Katherine is a PhD student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta, and Lab Co-ordinator (Western Cree dictionaries). Her background is in description and maintenance of Native American languages, especially Plains Cree, and in comparative Algonquian. Her interests include the description and analysis of the phonology, morphosyntax, and discourse structure of Plains Cree. At the ALTLab, she is currently involved in recordings, the adaptation of the Plains Cree finite state machine to the Woods Cree dialect, and the development of a synchronic and diachronic derivational analyser for Cree.

Eddie Santos – NRC Application Software Developer

Eddie is a software developer with the National Research Council of Canada that is embedded here in the ALT Lab.  Eddie holds both a BSc and MSc in Computing Science from the University of Alberta. Eddie’s research focused on how natural language processing tools can be leveraged to work on source code and software engineering artifacts. In his spare time, Eddie enjoys teaching beginners how to code, adventuring in the D&D multiverse, and jamming on bass guitar. Eddie received a BSc. in Computing Science from the University of Alberta. Contact him at easantos@ualberta.ca or https://eddieantonio.ca/.

Matt Yan

Matt Yan is an undergraduate research assistant helping with ongoing software development. Matt has great interests in linguistics and interesting software projects. He also enjoys playing and teaching the drums in his spare time. 

 

Dr. Jordan LachlerJL

Jordan Lachler is Director of the Canadian Indigenous Languages and Literacy Development Institute (CILLDI). He brings in considerable experience from many years of close collaborative work with a range of indigenous language communities including Haida and Nakota, and has been a key contributor in the development of partnerships with Cree and other communities. Dr. Lachler participates in overall project planning and management and supervises research on the computational description of Plains Cree and the development of the subsequent applications so that community involvement and feedback is ensured.

Ahmad Jawad

Ahmad Jawad is President of Intellimedia Inc., an Edmonton-based software development firm. Through Intellimedia, Jawad has been an active partner in helping to meet the educational needs of First Nations groups in Alberta, and brings his contacts to the project. Intellimedia created and maintains the on-line Cree Dictionary website (that incorporates the Alberta Elders’ Cree Dictionary), which has proven a valuable source and tool for the preservation of the Cree Language.

Former Members

David BeckBeck

David Beck  is a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Alberta. He has worked and published extensively on the Salishan language Lushootseed and on Upper Necaxa Totonac, an endangered language of East Central Mexico. He is currently an editor of the Brill Studies in Indigenous Languages of the Americas book series and about to take over as co-editor of the International Journal of American Linguistics. His fieldwork on Upper Necaxa has produced two practical vocabularies for the indigenous community and he is currently an advisor to the Tulalip (Lushootseed) Tribal language programme. Dr. Beck will bring to the project his extensive experience on developing partnerships with indigenous communities, as well as his knowledge of Totonac.

Dustin Bowers

Dustin worked with ALT Lab while a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta.  He worked on spell checkers and similar tools for Cree and Ojibwe on the former SSHRC Development grant 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages.

 

Megan Bontogon

Megan joined ALT Lab as a fourth-year undergraduate student of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Alberta. Her interests include revitalization, documentation and preservation of Canadian Indigenous Languages as well as computer assisted language learning (CALL) as a tool for second language acquisition and endangered language pedagogy. Acting as a research assistant, she worked to record speakers, complete annotations, and create various exercise templates and interface functions for a CALL application for Plains Cree. 

Lex Giesbrecht

Lex joined ALT Lab as an undergraduate linguistics student at the University of Alberta. As a research assistant, Lex was involved in the recording and annotation of spoken data for ALTLab’s efforts in compiling an electronic Plains Cree dictionary. Areas of interest include linguistic morphology and the documentation, study, and revitalization of Indigenous languages of North America. 

Isabell Hubbert

Isabell is a PhD student of Linguistics at the University of Alberta. Her research focuses on Psycholinguistics, especially on individual differences in Language processing and word production, and on Natural Language Processing. At the ALTlab, she worked on developing the first Optical Character Recognition models for Haida.

Juhani JärvikiviJJjpg

Juhani Järvikivi is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Director of the Centre for Comparative Psycholinguistics at the University of Alberta. His work takes an. experimental psycholinguistic approach to aspects of language and cognition across populations and across languages. His current research concentrates on language comprehension in mono- and bilingual children and adult language learners. 

Timothy Mills

Tim is a researcher and instructor at the University of Alberta.
He researches speech production, acoustics, and speech synthesis, and teaches general linguistics and phonetics. In ALTLAB, Tim developed speech synthesizers for indigenous languages, harnessing the latest technology to enable rapid development of computer voices from small recording sets.

Sally Rice

Sally Rice is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Alberta, and was one of the scholars involved with the founding of CILLDI. She has worked extensively with indigenous languages of the Athapaskan family, in particular Dene Suline, spoken across much of central Canada. While with ALT Lab she lent her years of experience in fostering partnerships with indigenous communities, as well as her knowledge of Dene Suline.

Conor SnoekConor-2

Conor is a former team member and current collaborator with ALT Lab.  Conor joined the ALT Lab while still a doctoral candidate at the University of Alberta, Department of Linguistics.  He is an Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at the University of Lethbridge. He has been involved with linguistic training and revitalization programs with Indigenous communities in Alberta since 2009, and further contributes his expertise with both Dene and Algonquian (esp. Plains Cree and Blackfoot) languages to our 21st Century Tools for Indigenous Languages Partnership.