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Research in Phonetics


Academic Staff:  
Honorary Staff:  
Current Research students:  
    PhDs completed since 2001

About the Phonetics Research Group

We are a highly-active modern experimental research centre, making internationally-recognised contributions in our main areas of research; speech prosody (Xu, Dellwo and House), phonetic theory (Xu), theoretical and computational modelling (Huckvale, Xu) and quantitative sociophonetics (Evans).

We publish widely in top journals such as Cognition, Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Journal of Phonetics, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Language and Speech, and Speech Communication.

Some of our recent research achievements include:


•  the development of the PENTA model, an articulatory-functional approach to speech prosody, which has gained international recognition and which, in collaboration with researchers in Canada, Thailand, USA and China, has been applied to intonation, coarticulation, segmental timing, speech synthesis and infant speech acquisition (Xu).


•  a number of novel approaches to the quantitative study of accent, including a state-of-the-art accent identification system, speaker clustering methods, and means for accent morphing (Huckvale).


•  funding from the Home Office for a centre (jointly with Imperial College ) to study methods for improving the intelligibility of speech recordings (Huckvale).


•  the development of quantitative approaches to sociophonetics, jointly with colleagues at UCL, Newcastle , Nijmegen and Glasgow . In particular, the development of techniques to investigate the perception of sociophonetic variation (Evans).


•  a novel approach to speech rhythm suggesting that the perception of durational rhythmic variability in speech is to a large degree dependent on the rate of speech. (Dellwo).

Current Research Projects

Recently Completed Research Projects

Collaborators from other departments/institutions

With Volker Dellwo: Jana Dankovicová (HCS; UCL), Emmanuel Ferrand (CNRS Lyon), Francisco Guttierez (Murcia), Petra Wagner (Bonn),

With Bronwen Evans: Patti Adank (FC Donders, Nijmegen), Ghada Khattab (Newcastle) Jane Stuart-Smith (Glasgow).

With Mark Huckvale: Mike Brookes (Imperial), Ian Howard (Cambridge);

With Yi Xu: Bruno Gauthier and Rushen Shi (Quebec), Charles Larson and Hanjun Liu (Northwestern), Fang Liu (Chicago),  Yiya Chen (Leiden), Santitham Prom-on (Thailand), Suthathip Chuenwattanapranithi (Thailand), Ying Wai Wong (Hong Kong), Bei Wang (Beijing).

PhDs completed since 2001:


Recently published work: