My main research interests are (linguistic) methodology and cognitive linguistics. I am interested in finding out what we can infer about our cognitive capacities from the patterns and structures we see in the language data obtained through a variety of methods. The main body of my work has to do with usage-based cognitive linguistics and focuses on linguistic variation in all its guises. My recent interests include learner corpus research and language acquisition theory.
I am actively involved in two research projects:
1) The Making and Breaking of Models: Experimentally Validating Classification Models in Linguistics (PUT1358, 2017-2020). Over the course of the project I am collaborating with Prof. Harald Baayen from the University of Tübingen, Dr. Alice Blumenthal-Dramé from the University of Freiburg, Dr. Dagmar Divjak from the Univeristy of Sheffield, and Dr. Arvi Tavast from Qlaara.
2) TCELE - Tartu Corpus of Estonian Learner English: Together with my colleagues at the Department of English Studies we are compiling a corpus of Estonian Learner English.
Among other duties, I am a board member of the Estonian Cognitive Linguistics Association (ECLA), a member of the International Cognitive Linguistics Association (ICLA) and the Learner Corpus Association (LCA).
Aimi Pikksaar (Tartu University, Estonia) is interested in the polysemy of adjectives and how to present the semantic description of a polysemous word in a way that reflects how native speakers intuitively demarcate the different meanings of that word. (Co-supervised together with Ann Veismann, University of Tartu)
Mariann Proos (Tartu University, Estonia) takes an empirical (corpus-based and experimental) approach to the polysemy of Estonian perception verbs. During the 2017/2018 academic year, she visited Prof. Asifa Majid and her research group at the Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University Nijmegen. (Co-supervised together with Ilona Tragel, University of Tartu)