Lochlan Morrissey

{philosophy of language, game theory, public policy} guy

I am a postdoctoral research fellow and lead data scientist at the Policy Innovation Hub at Griffith University, and poetry editor at the Griffith Review. My main research interests include formal linguistics, narrative policy analysis, and applications of data science to public policy.

Find my CV here.

email: l.morrissey@griffith.edu.au (gpg key: 0x9F42F790)
phone: +61 (0)7 373 53249
in person: S07 (at Queensland College of Art), office 4.21
ORCID: 0000-0003-1056-9607
keybase: lochland
git repos: git.lmorrissey.info/
coding projects: lochland.gitlab.io/
artistic portfolio: loch.land/
Recent (and recentish)
On linguistic signalling games in improvised theatre. Ten-page abstract of PhD thesis. 4 July, 2018.
Alternative facts do exist. Interview on 3CR Wednesday Breakfast (begins at 51 minutes). 25 October, 2017.
La lingua più bella del mondo. Interview on SBS Radio Italian. 13 October, 2017.
Alternative facts do exist: Beliefs, lies and political reasoning. Griffith Review 57: Perils of Populism. 25 September, 2017.
Housing (un)affordability. Machinery of Government. 21 March, 2017.
Research projects
doctorate | linguistic signalling games in improvised theatre
supervisors: Andrea C. Schalley (KU), Claire Kennedy (GU), Anton Benz (ZAS)

My thesis offers a game theoretic model of language use in improvised theatre. The model views actors as rational agents who use linguistic strategies to yield the greatest possible utility. Executing an improvised performance requires planning of the plot’s trajectory, which necessarily take place during the performance. So, actors must produce utterances that signal this planning information while concealing it from the audience, for such information damages the performance’s verisimilitude. The model set out in this thesis is novel for a game theoretic study insofar as its primary purpose is to be a descriptive model of a particular genre of speech. It is based on a dataset of two hours of improvised performance. I make four major amendments to the standard game theoretic model: (i) a formal, structured model of discourse; (ii) a means of modelling repeated interactions between the same agents; (iii) complex conditions of epistemic access to background information; and (iv) a model of hiding information in natural language utterances.

ausEn and forced migration | an object-oriented semantics
collaborators: Andrea C. Schalley (KU)

Forced migration is a topic which attracts much attention from the Australian public, especially in political discourse. Three terms that are used frequently in such discussions are refugee, asylum seeker, and boat people. This project looks at the semantics of these terms, using an object-oriented model based on UML, first proposed by Schalley (2004). The findings are based on a large sample of text data of online comments on the first season (2011) of the SBS television programme Go Back To Where You Came From.

Research output

Pending Background information in conversation games
Lochlan Morrissey. . Preprint
Social Innovation for Social Policy in Australasia
Barbara Allen, Alex Hannant, Brad Jackson, Anne Tiernan, and Lochlan Morrissey. In Karen Baehler (ed.), The Oxford International Handbook of Public Administration for Social Policy: Promising Practices and Emerging Challenges. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Resilient cities, user-driven planning, and open data policy
Paul Burton, Anne Tiernan, Malcolm Wolski, Lex Drennan, and Lochlan Morrissey. In Open Cities / Open Data. Sydney: UNSW Press.
2018 A Review of Themes in Disaster Resilience Literature, International Practice, and Policy Since 2012
Anne Tiernan, Lex Drennan, Johanna Nalau, Esther Onyago, Lochlan Morrissey, and Brendan Mackey. Policy Design and Practice. ᴅᴏɪ: 10.1080/25741292.2018.1507240
Amalgamated data platforms, heuristics, and co-constitution of policy narratives
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: 2018 Conference of the UK Political Science Association. Cardiff, Wales.
Resilience Policy in Practice – Surveying the Role of Community Based Organisations in Local Disaster
Lex Drennan and Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: Southern Political Science Association 2018 Conference. New Orleans, USA.
2017 On linguistic signalling games in improvised theatre
Lochlan Morrissey. PhD thesis. Brisbane, Australia: Griffith University.
A Lexical Semantics for Refugee, Asylum Seeker and Boat People in Australian English
Lochlan Morrissey and Andrea C Schalley. Australian Journal of Linguistics 37(4), 389–423. ᴅᴏɪ: 10.1080/07268602.2017.1350130
2014 The ‘split agent’ problem (or McGonagall paradox) in improvised theatre
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: GCCR HDR Symposium 2014. Griffith University: Brisbane, Australia.
Plasticity of nominal interpretations in context: An object–oriented approach
Lochlan Morrissey and Andrea C Schalley. Presented at: CTF'14: Concept Types and Frames in Language, Cognition, and Science. Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf: Düsseldorf, Germany.
2013 Arundale’s face constitution as Bayesian game
Lochlan Morrissey. Presented at: ALS2013: The Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society. University of Melbourne: Melbourne, Australia.
2012 The semantics of three terms in Australian English: refugee, asylum seeker, and boat people
Lochlan Morrissey. Honours thesis. Brisbane, Australia: Griffith University.
The semantics of three terms in Australian English: refugee, asylum seeker, and boat people
Lochlan Morrissey and Andrea C Schalley. Presented at: ALS2012: The Conference of the Australian Linguistics Society. University of Western Australia: Perth, Australia.
2011 Trolling is a art: Towards a schematic classification of intention in internet trolling
Lochlan Morrissey. Griffith Working Papers on Pragmatics and Intercultural Communication 3(2), 75–82.