B0;95;0c Richard Futrell | UCI

Richard Futrell

厦门


Hi. I am an assistant professor in the UC Irvine Department of Language Science. Before that I was a postdoc and grad student in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT working with Ted Gibson and Roger Levy.

I study language processing in humans and machines. My hypothesis is that the distinctive properties of natural language can be explained in terms of efficient communication given human cognitive constraints, modeled using information theory. My goal is to find the equations to which natural language is the solution. I also do Bayesian cognitive modeling, NLP, neural networks, and AI interpretability. Here is a statement about my research. Here is my PhD thesis!

Papers

* = equal contribution

2019

Michael Hahn and Richard Futrell. 2019. Estimating predictive rate-distortion curves via neural variational inference. Entropy 21(7): 640. [code]

Richard Futrell. 2019. Information-theoretic locality properties of natural language. In Proceedings of the First Workshop on Quantitative Syntax, pages 2-15.

Himanshu Yadav, Samar Husain*, and Richard Futrell*. 2019. Are formal restrictions on crossing dependencies epiphenomenal? In Proceedings of the 18th International Workshop on Treebanks and Linguistic Theory, pages 2-12. [code]

Richard Futrell, Peng Qian, Edward Gibson, Evelina Fedorenko, and Idan Blank. Syntactic dependencies correspond to word pairs with high mutual information. In Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Dependency Linguistics, pages 3-13. [code]

Ethan Wilcox, Roger Levy, and Richard Futrell. 2019. Hierarchical representation in neural language models: Suppression and recovery of expectations. In Proceedings of BlackboxNLP 2019.

Ethan Wilcox, Roger Levy, and Richard Futrell. 2019. What syntactic structures block dependencies in RNN language models? In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci), pages 1199-1205.

Yingtong Liu, Rachel Ryskin, Richard Futrell, and Edward Gibson. 2019. Verb frequency explains the unacceptability of factive and manner-of-speaking islands in English. In Proceedings of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci), pages 685-691.

Richard Futrell, Ethan Wilcox, Takashi Morita, Peng Qian, Miguel Ballesteros and Roger Levy. 2019. Neural language models as psycholinguistic subjects: Representations of syntactic state. In Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, pages 32-42. [code and data] [press]

Ethan Wilcox, Peng Qian, Richard Futrell, Miguel Ballesteros and Roger Levy. 2019. Structural supervision improves learning of non-local grammatical dependencies. In Proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, pages 3302-3312.

Edward Gibson, Richard Futrell, Steven T. Piantadosi, Isabelle Dautriche, Kyle Mahowald, Leon Bergen, and Roger Levy. How efficiency shapes human language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

Richard Futrell and Roger Levy. 2019. Do RNNs learn human-like abstract word order preferences? In Proceedings of the Society for Computation in Linguistics (SCiL) 2019, pages 50-59. [code and data]

2018

Richard Futrell, Ethan Wilcox, Takashi Morita, and Roger Levy. 2018. RNNs as psycholinguistic subjects: Syntactic state and grammatical dependency. arXiv abs/1809.01329. [code and data]

Ethan Wilcox, Roger Levy, Takashi Morita, and Richard Futrell. 2018. What do RNN language models learn about filler-gap dependencies? In Proceedings of the 2018 EMNLP Workshop BlackboxNLP: Analyzing and Interpretating Neural Networks for NLP, pages 211-221. [code and data]

Rachel Ryskin, Richard Futrell, Swathi Kiran, and Edward Gibson. 2018. Comprehenders model the nature of noise in the environment. Cognition 181: 141-150. [code and data]

Michael Hahn, Judith Degen, Noah Goodman, Dan Jurafsky, and Richard Futrell. 2018. An information-theoretic explanation of adjective ordering preferences. In Proceedings of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society (CogSci), pages 1766-1771.

Richard Futrell, Edward Gibson, Hal Tily, Idan Blank, Anastasia Vishnevetsky, Steven T. Piantadosi, and Evelina Fedorenko. 2018. The Natural Stories Corpus. In LREC 2018, pages 76-82. [the corpus]

2017

Edward Gibson, Richard Futrell, Julian Jara-Ettinger, Kyle Mahowald, Leon Bergen, Sivalogeswaran Ratnasingam, Mitchell Gibson, Steven T. Piantadosi, and Bevil Conway. 2017. Color naming across languages reflects color use. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114(40): 10785-10790. [code and data] [some popular press]

Richard Futrell, Roger Levy, and Matthew Dryer. A statistical comparison of some theories of NP word order. arXiv abs/1709.02783. [code and data]

Melody Dye, Petar Milin, Richard Futrell, and Michael Ramscar. 2017. Cute little puppies and nice cold beers: An information theoretic analysis of prenominal adjectives. In Proceedings of the 39th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society, pages 319-324. London, UK. Winner of the Marr Prize for Best Student Paper.

Richard Futrell, Roger Levy, and Edward Gibson. 2017. Generalizing dependency distance: Comment on "Dependency distance: A new perspective on syntactic patterns in natural languages" by Haitao Liu et al. Physics of Life Reviews 21: 197–199.

Richard Futrell and Roger Levy. 2017. Noisy-context surprisal as a human sentence processing cost model. In Proceedings of the 15th Conference of the European Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Volume 1, Long Papers, pages 688–698. Valencia, Spain. [code]

Richard Futrell, Adam Albright, Peter Graff, and Timothy J. O'Donnell. 2017. A generative model of phonotactics. Transactions of the Association for Computational Linguistics 5: 73–86.

Melody Dye, Petar Milin, Richard Futrell, and Michael Ramscar. 2017. A functional theory of gender paradigms. In F. Kiefer, J.P. Blevins, & H. Bartos (Eds.) Perspectives on Morphological Organization: Data and Analyses. Brill: Leiden.

Edward Gibson, Caitlin Tan, Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, Lars Konieczny, Barbara Hemforth, and Evelina Fedorenko. 2017. Don't underestimate the benefits of being misunderstood. Psychological Science: 1–10.

2016

Cory Shain, Marten van Schijndel, Richard Futrell, Edward Gibson, and William Schuler. 2016. Memory access during incremental sentence processing causes reading time latency. In Proceedings of the Workshop on Computational Linguistics for Linguistic Complexity (CL4LC), pages 49–58.

Kyle Mahowald, Ariel James, Richard Futrell, and Edward Gibson. 2016. A meta-analysis of syntactic priming in language production. Journal of Memory and Language 91: 5–27. [data]

Richard Futrell and Edward Gibson. 2016. L2 processing as noisy channel language comprehension. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition. This is a brief response to Cunnings (2016)]

Richard Futrell, Laura Stearns, Daniel L. Everett, Steven T. Piantadosi*, and Edward Gibson*. 2016. A corpus investigation of syntactic embedding in Pirahã. PLOS ONE 11(3): e0145289. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145289 [version with better formatting of glosses] [the corpus]

2015

Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2015. Large-scale evidence of dependency length minimization in 37 languages. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(33): 10336–10341. [some popular press] [two responses] [our response] [code]

Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2015. Quantifying word order freedom in dependency corpora. In Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Dependency Linguistics (Depling 2015), pages 91–100.

Richard Futrell and Edward Gibson. 2015. Experiments with generative models for dependency tree linearization. In Proceedings of the 2015 Conference on Empirical Methods in Natural Language Processing, pages 1978–1983.

Richard Futrell, Tina Hickey, Aldrin Lee, Eunice Lim, Elena Luchkina, and Edward Gibson. 2015. Cross-linguistic gestures reflect typological universals: A subject-initial, verb-final bias in speakers of diverse languages. Cognition 136: 215–221.

Stephanie Shih, Jason Grafmiller, Richard Futrell, and Joan Bresnan. 2015. Rhythm's role in the genitive construction choice in spoken English. In R. Vogel and R. van de Vijver (eds). Rhythm in Cognition and Grammar: A Germanic Perspective. Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter Mouton. 207–234.

Theses

Memory and Locality in Natural Language. 2017. MIT. PhD thesis with Ted Gibson and Roger Levy.

Processing Effects of the Expectation of Informativity. 2012. Stanford University. Master's thesis with Hannah Rohde and Dan Jurafsky.

German Grammatical Gender as a Nominal Protection Device. 2010. Stanford University. Senior thesis with Dan Jurafsky and Michael Ramscar.

Selected Presentations

(* = presented in person)

* Richard Futrell and Timothy J. O'Donnell. 2017. A generative model of phonotactics. MIT Workshop on Simplicity in Grammar Learning, 9/23/2017. [video]

* Richard Futrell. 2017. Information locality in natural language. Lightning talk at the Workshop on Executive Functions and Language Processing, MIT, 5/25/2017. [video]

* Richard Futrell and Roger Levy. 2017. Noisy-context surprisal as a human sentence processing cost model. Talk at CUNY 2017, 3/30/2017. [video]

* Richard Futrell. 2017. Comment on Semantic Typology and Efficient Communication. Commentary on Terry Regier's talk at the Pre-CUNY Workshop "Searching for cognitive universals: evidence from remote societies", 3/29/2017. [video]

* Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2016. Crosslinguistic investigations in quantitative syntax: Dependency length and beyond. Talk at Edinburgh Center for Language Evolution.

* Richard Futrell, Adam Albright, Peter Graff, and Timothy J O'Donnell. 2016. Subsegmental structure facilitates learning of phonotactic distributions. Presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Washington, D.C.

Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, and Edward Gibson. 2014. CLIQS: Crosslinguistic Investigations in Quantitative Syntax. Poster presented at AMLaP 2014.

* Richard Futrell, Kyle Mahowald, Steve Piantadosi, and Edward Gibson. 2014. Efficient Communication Forwards and Backwards. Poster presented at CUNY 2014.

* Richard Futrell and Michael Ramscar. 2012. German grammatical gender contributes to communicative efficiency. Presented at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America, Portland.

* Richard Futrell and Michael Ramscar. 2011. German grammatical gender manages nominal entropy. Poster presented at the Workshop on Information-Theoretic Approaches to Linguistics, July, University of Colorado, Boulder.

* Michael Ramscar and Richard Futrell. 2011. The predictive function of prenominal adjectives. Poster presented at the Workshop on Information-Theoretic Approaches to Linguistics, July, University of Colorado, Boulder.

Manuscripts

Richard Futrell and Sam Bowman. 2012. Measuring Amok. Term paper for Stanford CS224U: Natural Language Understanding.

Richard Futrell. 2012. And the Context Shall Make You Free: Bleaching as Blocking in a Discrimination Learning Model of Grammaticalization in the Critical Context. Term paper for Elizabeth Traugott's class on Constructionalization.

Richard Futrell. 2010. Predicting Gaps: Exploring Distributional Explanations for the Accessibility Hierarchy. Term paper.