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The Cornell Phonetics Lab is a group of students and faculty who are curious about speech. We study patterns in speech — in both movement and sound. We do a variety research — experiments, fieldwork, and corpus studies. We test theories and build models of the mechanisms that create patterns. Learn more about our Research. See below for information on our events and our facilities.


Upcoming Events

  • 2nd February 2023 04:30 PM

    Linguistics Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Adam McCollum to speak on "Atoms of a Theory of Phonology"

    The Department of Linguistics proudly presents Dr. Adam McCollum, Assistant Professor at the Department of Linguistics, Rutgers University.  Dr. McCollum will speak on "Atoms of a Theory of Phonology".


    At a fundamental level, any linguistic theory must be judged on how well it accounts for the sets of attested and unattested generalizations within the relevant domain of inquiry. This, however, depends on a pre-existing set of cross-linguistic observations. In this talk I lay out a research program focused on establishing and refining that set of observations.


    More concretely, I discuss several atoms of vowel harmony patterns that any adequate theory of phonology should account for, drawing on data from traditional and experimental fieldwork in West Africa and Central Asia, historical corpora, as well as insights from formal language theory. Results from this research inform both the representational and transformational components of a larger theory of synchronic and diachronic phonology.


    ASL interpretation for the talk will be provided.




    Dr. McCollum is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Linguistics at Rutgers University.  His research investigates the nature and computational properties of phonological knowledge, and refines the theoretical mechanisms used to model that knowledge.  


    His research interests cross-cut formal, fieldwork, computational, and laboratory-based approaches to phonology, focusing on feature spreading and harmony processes.


    Location: 106 Morrill Hall, 159 Central Avenue, Morrill Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA
  • 3rd February 2023 12:25 PM

    Informal Talk by Dr. Adam McCollum

    As part of Dr. McCollum's visit, he will give an informal talk to interested students and faculty. 

    Dr. McCollum's CV is listed here.

    Location: 111 Morrill Hall
  • 3rd February 2023 04:30 PM

    Phonology discussion by Dr. Adam McCollum

    As part of Dr. McCollum's visit, he will hold a phonology discussion with interested graduate students.  

    You are welcome to read Adam’s paper “On the status of non-iterativity in feature spreading” ahead of the discussion, but note that this will not be a formal discussion of the paper and you do not need to have read the paper to attend.




    In the most commonly discussed cases, feature spreading is iterative, applying to all licit targets within a given domain. Early work within rule-based theories of phonology developed explicit mechanisms to induce both iterative and non-iterative patterns (e.g. Howard 1973; Anderson 1974).


    The issue of (non)iterativity has received as much attention in more recent work, with the notable exception of Kaplan (2008), which argues that both iterativity and non-iterativity are emergent concepts, and are always derivable from other forces at work in the grammar. In this paper we examine the status of non-iterativity, drawing on production data from Crimean Tatar.


    We argue that, in line with previous descriptions of the language, rounding harmony is truly non-iterative in the Central dialect of the language, and not derivable from other, independent constraints in the language. This finding is supported by evidence from several other languages, which all exhibit the same type of non-iterative spreading.


    We argue that the presence of these patterns demands a formal account, and we discuss the analysis of non-iterativity in both rule- and constraint-based theories, discussing their different predictions for the typology of feature spreading.

    Location: Linguistics Lounge, Morrill 208.
  • 6th February 2023 04:30 PM

    Linguistics Colloquium Speaker: Dr. Madeline Gilbert of Sorbonne Nouvelle/CNRS to speak on phonological grammar and phonological processes

    The Department of Linguistics proudly presents Dr. Madeline Gilbert, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Sorbonne Nouvelle/CNRS.


    Dr. Gilbert's interests lie in laboratory phonology, phonological representations, and sociophonetic variability.  More specifically, she is interested in identifying surface cues to underlying structure that could be available to learners as they posit mental representations.  She investigates how the phonological grammar maps between surface and underlying forms, how phonological processes interact, and how acoustic variability affects phonological categories. 


    ASL interpretation for the talk will be provided.

    Location: 106 Morrill Hall, 159 Central Avenue, Morrill Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853-4701, USA


The Cornell Phonetics Laboratory (CPL) provides an integrated environment for the experimental study of speech and language, including its production, perception, and acquisition.

Located in Morrill Hall, the laboratory consists of six adjacent rooms and covers about 1,600 square feet. Its facilities include a variety of hardware and software for analyzing and editing speech, for running experiments, for synthesizing speech, and for developing and testing phonetic, phonological, and psycholinguistic models.

BIOPAC MP-160 System

The Sound Booth Laboratory has a BIOPAC MP-160 system for physiological data collection.   This system supports two BIOPAC Respiratory Effort Transducers and their associated interface modules.

Language Corpora

  • The Cornell Linguistics Department has more than 800 language corpora from the Linguistic Data Consortium (LDC), consisting of high-quality text, audio, and video corpora in more than 60 languages.    In addition, we receive three to four new language corpora per month under an LDC license maintained by a consortium of the Linguistics, Computer Science, and Information Science Departments.  



  • These and other corpora are available to Cornell students, staff, faculty, post-docs, and visiting scholars for research in the broad area of "natural language processing", which of course includes all ongoing Phonetics Lab research activities.   



Speech Aerodynamics

Studies of the aerodynamics of speech production are conducted with our Glottal Enterprises oral and nasal airflow and pressure transducers.


We use a Glottal Enterprises EG-2 electroglottograph for noninvasive measurement of vocal fold vibration.


Our GE LOGIQbook portable ultrasonic imaging system is used for studying vocal tract kinematics and dynamics.

Real-time vocal tract MRI

Our lab is part of the Cornell Speech Imaging Group (SIG), a cross-disciplinary team of researchers using real-time magnetic resonance imaging to study the dynamics of speech articulation.

Articulatory movement tracking

We use the Northern Digital Inc. Wave motion-capture system to study speech articulatory patterns and motor control.

Sound Booth

Our isolated sound recording booth serves a range of purposes--from basic recording to perceptual and psycholinguistic experimentation.