I am interested in phonology, especially its interface with phonetics and morphology; sign language phonetics; derivational opacity; linguistic typology; ludlings (language games, like Pig Latin); constructed languages (like Esperanto and Klingon), especially their use as an educational tool; Polish and Slavic phonology; historical phonology; mathematical and statistical models of linguistic phenomena; and in general, the physical, biological, and cognitive factors that shape language.
I've most recently worked on statistical measures of vowel harmony, machine translation between Tuvan and English, and the phonetics of more than two dozen sign languages, including American Sign Language, Italian Sign Language, Sri Lankan Sign Language, and Al-Sayyid Bedouin Sign Language.
Swarthmore College, Spring 2016:
Haverford College, Fall 2016:
Bryn Mawr College, Fall 2016:
Haverford College, Spring 2017:
other courses taught:
Sanders, Nathan, and Donna Jo Napoli. In preparation. A cross-linguistic preference for torso stability in the lexicon: Evidence from 24 sign languages. Article.
Sanders, Nathan. 2017 (expected). A modular introduction to phonetics and phonology [tentative title]. Textbook contracted with Oxford University Press.
Sanders, Nathan. 2016. Constructed languages in the classroom. Language 92 (forthcoming). [ PDF (preprint) ]
Sanders, Nathan, and Donna Jo Napoli. 2016. Reactive effort as a factor that shapes sign language lexicons. Language 92 (forthcoming). [ PDF (preprint) ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2016. nslxIPA. Unicode IPA keyboard layout and documentation. v1.0. [ website ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2015. Active and reactive effort in sign language phonetics. Invited talk for the Tri-Lo Linguistics Lecture Series at Swarthmore College. [ PDF (slides) ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2014. Active and reactive effort in sign language phonetics. Invited talk given at the University of Georgia. [ PDF (slides) ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2014. Gradient (dis)harmony: Hidden harmony and anti-harmony. Poster presented at Phonology 2014 (Annual Meetings on Phonology), Massachusetts Institute of Technology. [ PDF (mini-paper) ] [ PDF (poster) ]
Napoli, Donna Jo, Nathan Sanders, and Rebecca Wright. 2014. On the linguistic effects of articulatory ease, with a focus on sign languages. Language 90(2):424-456. [ Project MUSE ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2006/2014. OTtablx. LaTeX software package and documentation. v0.4. [ website ]
Harrison, K. David, Nathan Sanders, Rachel Killackey, Kathryn Montemurro, and Peter Nilsson. 2012. The Tuvan Machine Translation Project.
Sanders, Nathan, and K. David Harrison. 2012. Discovering new vowel harmony patterns using a pairwise statistical model. Poster presented at the 20th Manchester Phonology Meeting, University of Manchester.
Sanders, Nathan. 2011. Some aspects of ease of articulation in American Sign Language. Invited talk given at Stony Brook University. [ PDF (handout) ]
Sanders, Nathan, and Jaye Padgett. 2009. Exploring the role of production in predicting vowel inventories. Talk given at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. [ PDF (handout) ]
Cerny, Jacob, Christopher Paci, and Nathan Sanders. 2009. Towards a classification of the northern Berkshires dialect of American English. Poster presented at the 83rd Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America. [ PDF (poster) ]
Sanders, Nathan, and Jaye Padgett. 2008. Articulatory parameters in a dispersion-focalization model of vowel systems. Talk given at the UC Santa Cruz Linguistics Alumni Conference. [ PDF (handout) ]
Sanders, Nathan, and Jaye Padgett. 2008. Predicting vowel inventories from a dispersion-focalization model: New results. Papers from the 44th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. [ PDF ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2006. Strong lexicon optimization. Talk given at Umass Phonology Group. [ PDF (handout) ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2004. Opacity from contrast: Neutral segments in harmony systems. Talk given at the 12th Manchester Phonology Meeting, University of Manchester. [ PDF (handout) ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2002. Dispersion in OT: Color contrast in Middle Polish nasal vowels. WCCFL 21 Proceedings. 415–428. [ PDF ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2001. Preserving synchronic parallelism: Diachrony and opacity in Polish. CLS 37: The Main Session. Papers from the 37th Meeting of the Chicago Linguistics Society. 501–516. [ PDF ]
Sanders, Nathan. 2000. Intra-representational correspondence and the realization of empty morphemes. Qualifying exam paper, UCSC. [ PDF ]
Sanders, Nathan. 1999. Same-edge alignment with opposite-edge effects. Talk given at WCCFL 18. [ PDF (handout) ]
Sanders, Nathan. 1999. Intra-representational correspondence and truncation. Paper given at Linguistics at Santa Cruz. [ PDF ]
Kurisu, Kazutaka, and Nathan Sanders. 1999. Infixal nominal reduplication in Mangarayi. Phonology at Santa Cruz 6. 47–56. [ PDF ]