Johannes Dellert

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Welcome to my website! I am a computational linguist who currently works as a PhD student in the EVOLAEMP project at the Department of Linguistics in Tübingen, under the supervision of Prof. Gerhard Jäger. My research focus is on the application of causal inference methods to problems of historical linguistics.

I completed M.A. and B.A. degrees in the International Studies in Computational Linguistics program at the University of Tübingen. In parallel, I acquired a Diplom (M.S.) degree in computer science at the Department of Computer Science in Tübingen, with a minor in mathematics.

Current Research Interests:

Causal Inference: Recent mathematical models allow to infer causal knowledge from non-experimental data on the basis of conditional independencies between observed variables. I am exploring the use of such methods for detecting causal patterns in linguistic data. Within the EVOLAEMP project, the primary focus of this work is on detecting causal connections between phonological change processes extracted from Swadesh lists.

Historical Linguistics: In a larger context, I am interested in applications of quantitative and statistical methods to answering research questions in historical linguistics. Our main goal is to improve and advance these methods by incorporating linguistic domain knowledge, instead of directly and uncritically applying off-the-shelf tools e.g. from bioinformatics.

Older Research Interests:

Computational Semantics: My main area of interest within computational linguistics, where I have been involved in developing specialized reasoning tools which better meet the demands of linguistic applications. This especially concerns the area of model generation, where I am developing specialized heuristics for more rapid construction of linguistically adequate models.

Automated Reasoning: Beyond my interest in reasoning tools for computational semantics, I have also been doing work on the extraction of Minimal Unsatisfiable Subsets from unsatisfiable SAT problems. This has applications in many areas where minimal explanations for observations are needed.

Grammar Engineering: Systems for implementing symbolic grammars in complex grammar formalisms are very helpful tools for validating linguistic theories. I have been involved in developing and extending environments for the HPSG and TAG formalisms with the goal of making their behavior more transparent.

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