Linguists

 

angela-almelaÁngela Almela, PhD  is a corpus linguist who specializes in English and Spanish. She earned her M.A. in English Language and PhD with distinction in Linguistics at the Universidad de Murcia, Spain. Her doctoral dissertation developed and tested a method for deception detection in English and Spanish. Her lines of research include forensic, computational and applied linguistics, within which she has published over 50 articles in journals, conferences, and book chapters, several of them in JCR-indexed journals. Furthermore, she has been involved in research projects with Indra Software Labs S.L.U. and Universidad Carlos III, among others. She has also been a visiting scholar at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy), Freie Universität Berlin (Germany) and Institute for Linguistic Evidence (USA).

Dr. Almela has taught language and linguistics at Universidad de Murcia and Universidad Católica San Antonio (Spain). Currently, she is an Associate Professor at the University Center of Defense at the Spanish Air Force Academy (MDE-UPCT).

At ALIAS Technology, Angela serves on the Linguist Support Team for SynAID, Profiler and WISER1.


carole-chaski-smallCarole E Chaski PhD is a syntactician and computational linguist who specializes in tools for the analysis of syntactic variation. She attended St. John’s College in Annapolis and earned her A.B. magna cum laude in English and Ancient Greek at Bryn Mawr College. After teaching high school English, she earned her M.Ed. in Psychology of Reading at the University of Delaware and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics at Brown University. Her doctoral dissertation researched the loss of the Greek infinitive from Homeric to early Modern Greek from the analytical perspectives of three major syntactic theories (government-binding, head-driven phrase structure grammar and lexical-functional grammar). She has programmed in Pascal, PL-1, LISP, Visual Basic, Visual C#, Python and Filemaker. She has used statistical software such as SAS, JMP, Weka, R and SPSS.

At ALIAS Technology, in addition to her executive roles, she serves on the Linguist Support Team for SynAID, Profiler and other modules as cases warrant.


Mariam Dar earned her Ph.D. and M.A. in Psycholinguistics from the University of York, England. She was an Overseas Student Scholarship recipient.

Dr. Dar has extensive research experience in various established institutions in Pakistan and in the UK at the Infant and Toddler Laboratory at University of York. She has worked with both typical and atypical language development in the early years. Dr. Dar created the first research laboratory for the study of infant language development in her native Pakistan. She has also created the first language assessment tool for Pakistani children, a bilingual Urdu-English McArthur Communicative Development Inventory (CDI). Currently, she is part of a collaborative project with researchers from the UK and India to adapt the bilingual Urdu CDI to Hindi: Both projects have great potential for research and clinical use (such as identifying speech delays, early diagnosis of disorders related to language delay, developing /modifying interventions and clinical treatments etc.) not only in the native countries but anywhere in the world where Urdu/Hindi communities are prevalent. At ILE, Dr Dar is leading a project on linguistic identification of religious extremism that can play a crucial role in preventing acts of terrorism, and verification for future crimes.

Dr. Dar has wide experience as a language analyst/expert. As part of Machine Intelligence Team, She has worked as a Computational Linguist for many leading firms on various projects for the process of creating speech technology, such as virtual agents, speech recognition and synthesis, and TTS (text-to-speech) lexicon. She also worked as a Forensic Phonetician in England performing tasks such as audio transcription, Forensic Speaker Comparison, accent/dialect identification and speaker profiling for court evidence.

Dr. Dar has excellent proficiency in English, has intermediate proficiency in Pashto and is a native speaker of Urdu, Hindi, and Punjabi. Dr. Dar also has wide teaching experience in both Pakistan and England. Despite working as a linguist in many domains, forensics remains to be her utmost passion. She believes that Forensic Linguistics contributes immensely to society by providing useful analysis and insights into criminal investigation for a better and safer world.


Nan Decker PhD is a syntactician specializing in grammars for machine translation and other applications. She earned her BA in English from Wellesley College, M.Ed. in Deaf-Blind Education from San Francisco State College, and Ph.D. in Linguistics from Brown University.  Her experiences teaching deaf-blind students at Perkins School for the Blind sparked an interest in the complexities of syntax acquisition and led her to work at WGBH-TV, where she was part of a team that developed a captioning system for hearing-impaired viewers which controlled syntax, vocabulary and inferential content.  Her doctoral dissertation concerned syntactic cues to discourse structure in hard news reports.

After earning her doctorate, she went on to work at Mead Data Central (now LexisNexis), where she designed a grammar for identifying legal citations in a large online database.  For over twenty years, she worked in the field of machine translation, first at Language Engineering and then LogoVista U.S., building a richly annotated online dictionary and grammar for automatic translation of written English text to Japanese text.

At ALIAS Technology, Nan serves on the Linguist Support Team for SynAID and LEGLER.


Timothy Habick is a linguist who evaluates the language used in communications and textual material, especially for the purpose of the creation of fair and reliable assessments. This work involves a linguistic discourse analysis as well as logical analysis of materials used for assessment. As a forensic linguist, Dr. Habick applies linguistic principles in the service of social and legal justice in disputes regarding the reasonable interpretation of controversial communications.

Dr. Habick earned his Ph.D in linguistics from the University of Illinois, Urbana, IL in 1980. His dissertation, Sound change in Farmer City: A sociolinguistic study based on acoustic data, was the first microsociolinguistic study of the speech of a small community based on a spectrographic analysis of speech samples. In 1981, he completed a course in speech spectrogram reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Habick has taught linguistics and other subjects at both the graduate and undergraduate levels at universities such as the University of Illinois, Temple University, Drexel University, La Salle University, Princeton University for the Princeton-in-Asia program, and Tianjin Normal University in China.

In 1987, Dr. Habick joined the Reasoning and Measurement Group at Educational Testing Service (ETS), where he worked with a team of linguists and logicians to create and review exams such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), the Speech-Language Pathology Test, the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and many others.

In 2000, Dr. Habick co-founded Reasoning, Inc., a corporation that provides linguistic, logical, and psychometric analyses for educational and professional testing purposes. Through Reasoning, Inc., Dr. Habick has served clients such as ETS, the Law School Admission Council (LSAC), the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SOCRA), the Global Competence Aptitude Assessment, the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians (ABIPP), and many others.

Dr. Habick served as the leader of three World Bank projects to evaluate and improve the national examinations of the countries of Moldova (2007) and Djibouti (2015 and 2016). For the Djibouti national examinations, in 2016 Dr. Habick also performed psychometric analyses of the results of each test, along with recommendations for improvement in test-data collection as well as test-development methodologies.

Dr. Habick’s skill in test development has transferred to issues in forensic linguistics. Since 2010, Dr. Habick has created forensic linguistic reports for cases involving defamation, authorship attribution, trademarks, and the legitimate interpretation of contested documents, test questions, and survey questions.


Michael J. HarrisMichael J. Harris PhD is a phonetician who specializes in speech rhythms, prosody and corpus linguistics of Spanish, Portuguese and English. Dr. Harris earned his PhD in Hispanic Languages and Literatures with a focus on Iberian Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His dissertation research focused on a prosodic method for differentiating speakers of Spanish in terms of their status as native speakers, heritage speakers or second language learners. Michael has published several academic papers and presented at multiple national linguistics conferences on subjects such as bilingual speech rhythms, acoustic correlates of Spanish speech rhythms, the accusative-oblique alternation in Spanish clitics and syntactic priming of the Portuguese inflected infinitive. His other research interests include the dialectal variation of Spanish vowels, and the use of corpus linguistics methodology in phonetics. Michael’s skillset as a linguist includes both phonetics/phonology and syntax.

In his research, Michael employs empirical methods and statistical modeling to provide scientifically verified perspectives on human language use. He has a strong background in statistical evaluation of real-world linguistic data. He has expertise in the R language and environment for statistical computing which he uses for statistical analysis and graph generation. Michael has conducted research for the Institute for Linguistic Evidence and attended the ILE Summer Workshop in 2014.

Michael’s interest in empirical research in the sound systems of human speech have led him to investigate phonetics and phonology in general, prosody in particular, and to apply his expertise to forensic issues. He has co-published and presented on the application of prosody analysis in forensic linguistics and has demonstrated that prosodic variation can aid in both language and speaker identification.

Currently, Michael works in the tech industry, coordinating premium accounts for a major software provider. At ALIAS Technology, Michael servers on the Linguist Support Team for SynAID and Profiler.


Melissa Wright, MA is a syntactician with a focus on computational methodology for differentiating speakers.

Melissa has experience in journalism, website development, and content analysis, in addition to computational syntactic linguistics. Melissa earned her MA from Northern Illinois University in 2017. While there, she completed a year-long master’s thesis research project differentiating the character dialogue from the narration of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray using computational syntactic methodology. In 2018, her work was awarded the Outstanding Thesis Award in the category of Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, and she was the university’s representative for the 2018 Midwestern Association of Graduate School regional thesis competition.

Since graduating from her program, Melissa has been working in a plethora of positions for the Institute for Linguistic Evidence (ILE) and ALIAS. She is the Managing Editor for LESLI: Linguistic Evidence in Security, Law and Intelligence, the Managing Director for ILE, the Membership Coordinator for The Association for Linguistic Evidence (TALE), and the Assistant Director of Research for ILE. She also works as a linguistic discourse analyst examining doctor-patient conversation nuances.

Among her other projects, she also serves as a Linguistic Consultant for resources targeted toward linguistics majors, and she and her psychotherapist husband are developing a communication research, analysis, and consulting platform for those who want to improve their communication styles within their relationships.

Melissa’s main interests are authorship attribution, computational linguistics, and syntax.