The Phonetics Lab has no large projects in which everyone participates. At any moment, there are at least as many on-going research projects as there are people in the lab!  However, certain concerns or themes recur over time and across projects: description of the sounds of languages, especially unusual sounds or understudied languages; close comparison of similar sounds across languages; prosody across languages; infant speech acquisition, especially perception; measures of speech production, both in the lab and in the field.  

To hear about current work in progress by members of the Phonetics Lab, you can attend our weekly Phonetics Seminar (consult department calendar listing for schedule).

Current Grant-Supported Projects

Past Grant-Supported Projects

Completed Dissertations

About running experiments in the Phonetics Lab

Current Grants (2020)

Profs. Megha Sundara and Bruce Hayes have a new NSF grant, starting August 2020. Details to follow once the award appears in Fastlane.

Prof. Pat Keating is part of NSF grant IIS-1704167 to Abeer Alwan, “Variance and invariance in voice quality: Implications for machine and human speaker identification” (with Jody Kreiman), for 2017-2021.

Past Grants

Meng Yang had NSF grant with adviser Megha Sundara: Doctoral Dissertation Research: The perception of acoustic-phonetic cues and its impact on speech category learning", grant BCS-1823851, 2018-2020

Prof. Pat Keating was part of NSF grant IIS-1450992 to Abeer Alwan, "Variance and Invariance of Voice Quality" (with Jody Kreiman), for 2013-2016 and NSF grant IIS-1018863, "A New Voice Source Model: From Glottal Areas to Better Speech Synthesis", to Prof. Abeer Alwan in EE, with Profs. Jody Kreiman and Bruce Gerratt in Head & Neck Surgery, for 2010-2015.

Prof. Sun-Ah Jun was part of NSF grant BCS-0844106 The Role of Childhood Language Memory in Adult Language Learning: Korean Adoptees Learning Korean as Adults, with Janet Oh, Terry Au, and Richard Lee, for 2009-2014.

Nancy Ward had NSF grant BCS-1226300 to Megha Sundara (as dissertation advisor), "Doctoral Dissertation Research: The role of visual cues in imitating a new sound", for 2012-2014.

Prof. Megha Sundara has received NSF grant BCS-0951639, "Development of Native Language Preference: Behavioral and Physiological Indices" for 2010-2013.

Victoria Thatte had NSF grant BCS-0957956 to Megha Sundara (as dissertation advisor), "Development of Phonotactic Knowledge in Infancy", for 2010-2012.

Prof. Pat Keating, with Prof. Abeer Alwan in EE , Prof. Jody Kreiman in Head & Neck Surgery, and Prof. Christina Esposito of Macalester College, received NSF grant BCS-0720304, "Production and Perception of Linguistic Voice Quality", for 2007-2012. All of the speech corpora, analysis software, data analysis, and papers produced in the project are available from the project website.

Prof. Peter Ladefoged and Dr. Barbara Blankenship received a grant for $159,610 from the National Science Foundation to prepare a digital archive of the vast collection of phonetic field data gathered by Ladefoged and his UCLA Linguistics colleagues over the past five decades. The project was carried out in collaboration with several UCLA undergraduates, who compiled an archive of recordings. Prof. Russ Schuh took over as PI of this project after Peter Ladefoged's death, and the work was essentially completed in early 2009. [Check out KPCC's story about the archive.]

Kuniko Nielsen had NSF grant 0547578 to Pat Keating (as dissertation advisor), "Doctoral Dissertation Research: The specificity and abstractness of allophonic variability and its effects on speech production and perception"

Prof. Pat Keating and several students (especially Kuniko Nielsen) were part of "Bases of Normal and Disordered Reading", NIH grant HD29891 to Frank Manis at USC. The co-PIs included not only the collaborators on the previous generation of this project - Mark Seidenberg of U Wisconsin-Madison, and Pat Keating - but also Zhong-Lin Lu of USC for vision and neuroimaging studies. This project used the lab's facilities for preparation of perception experiments, which are posted here

Prof. Pat Keating and several students (Rebecca Brown Scarborough, Kuniko Yasu Nielsen, Taehong Cho, Marco Baroni; and others employed directly by the House Ear Institute) were part of NSF grant 9996088 to Lynne Bernstein, then at the House Ear Institute, "KDI: Segmental and Prosodic Optical Phonetics for Human and Machine Speech Processing." This project used the lab's Carstens AG-100 Articulograph.

Bruce Hayes had NSF grant 9910686, and Adam Albright, Argelia Andrade, and Stephen Wilson were part of the project. Although not a phonetic project, this project used the computers and sound booth of the Phonetics Lab for perception experiments.

Taehong Cho had NSF grant 001716 to Pat Keating (as dissertation advisor), "Doctoral/Dissertation Research: Effects of Prosody on Articulation in English." This project used the lab's Carsten AG-100.

Sun-Ah Jun (and Sahyang Kim, Hyuck-Joon Lee, Minjung Son, Moto Ueyama and undergrads Olivia Martinez and Wendy Hayashi) was part of NIMH grant 1R01MH56118 to Terry Au of the Psychology Department, "Language Acquisition--Timing and Nature of Output". This project used the lab's acoustic analysis facilities.

Peter Ladefoged & Ian Maddieson had NSF 9319705 - "Phonetic Structures of Endangered Languages". Results from this project (and previous related grants) are included in the Phonetic Database available on this site.

Pat Keating had NSF 9511118 - "Effects of Prosodic Positions on Consonant Articulation"

Pat Keating and Richard Wright were part of NIH R01HD29891 to Frank Manis at USC - "Perceptual, Linguistic and Computational Bases of Dyslexia"

Richard Wright had NSF grant 9415498 to Pat Keating (as dissertation advisor), "Doctoral Dissertation Research: An Acoustic and Perceptual Study of the Syllable in Tsou"


Until about 1995, dissertations from the Phonetics Lab were published in the Working Papers in Phonetics series (the last was Hagiwara 1995, which was WPP #90), and all of those are available online as part of the online version of WPP. The Linguistics Department website now provides an almost complete list of students' downloadable dissertations, as well as some masters theses, and so we no longer list links separately here unless they are currently missing from the departmental page, or the students were in the Applied Linguistics program rather than the Linguistics Department.

Victoria Thatte (2011), Phonotactic learning in infancy (pdf file)

Chad Vicenik (2011), The role of intonation in language discrimination by infants and adults (pdf file)

About running experiments in the Phonetics Lab

Not only members of the lab, but members of the Linguistics Department, and indeed of the larger academic community, are welcome to use the facilities of the lab for their research. Please consult our Facilities page for information about available facilities, including instructions for many of them. Henry Tehrani is available to prepare Matlab or eyetracker scripts for linguistics department experimenters. Experiments that are done as part of a course do not require Human Subjects approval, but experiments done as research (including masters theses and dissertations) do require prior approval. All users of the lab, including those from outside the Linguistics Department, are responsible for obtaining their own approval. IRB applications are now done entirely online and require an account. The coordinator of the Language (infant) Lab can help with applications. Students can apply to the department for money to pay subjects (see the Graduate Advising page for more info), or can access the Psychology (SONA) subject pool (see the coordinator of the infant lab).

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last updated by Pat Keating, July 2020