The effects of intonation on the timing of lexical tones

Hao Yi
This dissertation investigates the effects of intonation, particularly boundary tones, on the timing of lexical tones in tone languages. I ask three questions: 1) Do intonation and tone differ in principle in terms of how they are integrated into the coupling which accommodates segments, lexical tones, and intonation? 2) Does the presence of intonation give rise to differences in the coordination among tones and segments? 3) Do intonation and tone interact at the phonological level or are they implemented independent of one another? A cross-linguistic production study is planned to be carried out in Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, etc. Alignment patterns in both acoustic and articulatory data will be carefully investigated.

Patterns of Misperception of Arabic Consonants

Chelsea Sanker
A perception experiment looking at patterns of which Arabic consonants are most confusable for listeners with different language backgrounds and whether confusions between pairs of consonants are symmetrical or strongly directional. Participants who were native or non-native speakers of Arabic listened to short nonce words played in background noise and chose the written form which they thought best matched the auditory stimulus. The patterns of identification errors suggest which acoustic features are salient to listeners, based on which sounds are most frequently confused and how identifications are influenced by the primary frequencies of the masking noise.

Partially nasal segments

Abby Cohn & Anastasia Riehl (Queen's University)
Phonological and phonetic investigation of partially nasal segments, with particular focus on Austronesian languages

Relationship between phonology and phonetics

Abby Cohn
Nature of representations and patterning of sounds as often characterized as phonological or phonetic, with a particular focus on distinctive feature theory

Syllables and Segments

Adam Cooper and Draga Zec
Our goal is assembling a comprehensive database on the typology of syllables in the world's languages. We detail for each entry language aspects of its phonological system relevant for the structure of its syllables -- phonemic inventory, syllable shapes, including the details of segment distribution across syllable internal positions, syllable weight, tone and stress systems, etc. We are currently developing cross-linguistic typologies of syllabic consonants and syllable codas.

Mechanisms of selection and coordination in speech production

Sam Tilsen
This research project involves experimental investigation and computational modeling of two key motor processes in speech production: selection and coordination. Selection relates to how speakers control the choice of which articulatory gestures to produce, and coordination relates to the relative timing of articulatory movements.

Real-time MRI of the vocal tract

Sam Tilsen, Pascal Spincemaille, Peter Doerschuk, Wenming Lu, Yi Wang
This project uses a real-time magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the dynamics of speech articulation. Real-time MRI is the technology of the future for articulatory imaging, offering a unique combination of spatial coverage, high spatial resolution, and high temporal resolution.

Earmaster: a phonetic transcription game

Sam Tilsen & Sam Hyatt
Supported by a Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence Faculty Grant, we are developing an instructional game for practicing IPA phonetic transcription in html/Javascript. The game allows for modular development of transcription exercises, immediate feedback, gameplay logging, and gameplay analysis.

Phonetics and phonology of pitch accent explored on the Štokavian dialects of Serbian/Croatian

Draga Zec and Elizabeth Zsiga (Georgetown University)
In this project we analyze cross-dialectal phonetic variation of pitch accent in the Neo-Štokavian dialects, focusing on its systematic aspects, and on the emerging phonological patterns. In particular, we explore two types of dialects: those in which pitch and stress, the components parts of pitch accent, tend to occur on the same syllable, and those in which the two components tend to occur on distinct, most notably, contiguous syllables.