About

Hey there! I am a third year PhD student in Linguistics at Cornell University, where I am a member of the Cornell Phonetics Lab. Before coming to Cornell, I received my B.A. in Linguistics and my B.A. in French from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Research

  • Current Project

    I just passed my first qualifying exam under the direction of Drs. Abby Cohn (chair), Sam Tilsen, and Draga Zec. I was investigating the interaction between inventory size and variance in speaker production. Specifically I compared Spanish, Catalan, and English sibilant inventories, using acoustic data. I found that there may be an effect: English and Catalan (larger inventories) show less variance in center of gravity than Spanish (smaller inventory)!

  • General areas of interest

    My research interests are broadly in phonetics and phonology: how these interact and where they overlap. I enjoy laboratory phonology and experimental phonetics. I'm also interested in sound change and I think Romance linguistics is super neat!

  • Select Presentations

    Blake, Katherine. (2017). Rhoticity in Cajun French. Poster Presented at the Linguistics Club at Indiana University Spring 2017 Conference. Indiana University, Bloomington, IN.
    Elston, A., Blake, K., Berkson, K., Nelson, M., Strickler, A., Herd, W., Carino, J., Torrence, D. (2016). Region, gender, and within-category variation in American English voiced stops. Poster Presented at the 171st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. Salt Lake City, UT.

Teaching

  • English Tutor Spring 2015
  • French Conversation Instructor Spring 2016
  • Phonology Tutor Spring 2016
  • FREN1210 Teaching Assistant Fall 2018, Fall 2019
  • FREN1220 Teaching Assistant Spring 2019

I have several years of experience in instruction. During the semester I studied abroad in France, the spring of 2015, I spent time helping local middle school students with their English homework and exam review at an after-school program for at-risk youth. At Indiana University during my undergrad, I was an instructor for a French conversation class offered to first- and second-year French students where I developed student-centered speaking activities geared towards improving their oral fluency. During that same semester at IU, I tutored other undergrads taking Dr. Kelly H. Berkson (my former advisor)'s Phonology class, helping them with problem sets, phonological theories, and exam review. Since coming to Cornell, I have been a Teaching Assistant for first year French (FREN1210-1220). As a TA, I develop lesson plans and meet with my own group of students for recitation four days per week.

Other things I'm up to

I'm currently an editor for Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 29, and a member of the committee planning the first World Languages Day at Cornell this fall. I also work as an intern at Synfonica Speech for Dr. Sue Hertz.
Outside of Linguistics, I have a few creative hobbies: I like to craft, embroider, and play flute.
I also enjoy hiking, running/weight-lifting, and traveling with my partner Max Nelson, who is also a linguist!