Lab I direct the Speech Perception and Production Lab at the UO. For more information on our lab, you can check out our website. The lab is housed in the Spoken Language Research Laboratories on the 3rd floor of 1600 Millrace. We work as a team and are always looking for smart, talented, and interested folks to join us.
If you are interested in pursuing a PhD in the lab, are a current undergraduate student interested in volunteering or working in the lab, or are interested in pursuing postdoctoral research with me, please e-mail me.
- Laboratory Phonology
- Speech perception
- Speech production
- Non-native speech
- Second language acquisition
Interactions between speech perception and production during second language learning
In order to successful use a language, a learner must be able to both perceive and produce that language. How do perception and production systems interact with each other? How does this relationship change as a person learns a language? How can we account for dissociations between perception and production (i.e., cases where a learner can produce something they cannot perceive and vice versa)? How does training in one modality influence training in the other? (This work is funded by the National Science Foundation BCS 1734166)
Variability in production and perception
A common intuition is that non-native speech is more variable than native speech; however, variability is not always a bad thing. In fact, in native speech, variability often indexes a high degree of control over the language, allowing for style-shifting, etc. Are non-native speakers always more variable than native speakers? If not, what predicts when a speaker will be variable? And what are the implications for variability in native speech on our understanding of the target for non-native speech, that is what does it mean to form new phonological categories in a language? What are the consequences of variability for listeners?
Lexically conditioned phonetic variation
Lexical properties of a word (e.g., neighborhood density or frequency) influence the phonetic properties of that word. What lexical properties, specifically, influence phonetic variation? What are the mechanisms underlying this variation?
Perception of speech in adverse conditions
Listening to speech in adverse conditions is often a challenge for listeners. This is true for both talker based conditions (i.e., a non-native speaker) and environmental conditions (i.e., noisy situations). How do listeners overcome this challenge? Are all types of degradations or variation equally difficult for listeners? What other cognitive skills are correlated with listeners' ability to perceive degraded speech?
Expectation in speech perception
Listeners use a variety of cues when perceiving speech, integrating both knowledge- and signal-based information to determine their final percept of speech. How does the context in which we hear speech influence our perception? Here we examine a range of factors including context speaking rate, native language background of the speaker, and grammaticality of the utterance, and ask how these factors influence perception and interact with one another.
I am also working on a number of other projects including:
- Neural mechanisms underlying second language learning (with Santiago Jaramillo at the Institute of Neuroscience; funded by an University of Oregon Incubating Interdisciplinary Initiatives grant)
- Distributions of speech sounds in everyday input to infants (with Caitlin Fausey & the UO Learning Lab)
- Phonetic correlates of stress in Yawarana (with Spike Gildea & Natalia Cáceres; REU funded by NSF BCS 1500714)
- Phonetic Description of Three Indigenous Languages: Hanis, Milluk, and Siuslaw languages (with Spike Gildea, Ene Helms, and Patty Whereat Phillips; REU funded by NSF BCS 1500714)
- Perception and production of vowel harmony in Komo (with Manuel Otero & Paul Olejarczuk)